OK this is a somewhat touchy subject and I will try my best not to offend anyone, but I have been known to voice my opinion in a somewhat offensive way, and this is an issue I feel VERY passionate about….. so I will not be holding back.
I have a SERIOUS problem with Canada’s Welfare system and the way it deals with single, childless people. I am not talking about the single mother, father, or single childless person who has issues that prevent them from working, I am talking about the “capable” single individual that could work, but doesn’t.
I know a number of individuals who although are “capable” of gaining employment, come up with numerous excuses not to, and remain on Welfare instead. My real issue lies in the amount of time these people are “allowed” to milk the system. I have no issues with the “initial” need for assistance; it is the length of time that laziness is allowed to cultivate that is my problem with the system.
Here is MY idea;
I think any single, childless (or not sole-supporter) individual that is “capable” of working and is applying for government assistance should be allotted 6 months of unquestioned assistance at the maximum. In that 6 month period this person should be able to either maintain employment, education, or training that will allow them to discontinue the assistance, or help them to further their needs to be able to do so in a reasonable amount of time. I know this is the basic plan for Welfare and single persons, but it is not implemented by the system for whatever reason. Perhaps it is just a matter of excessive case loads for each social worker, but I truly think that if the system went and weaned out all the clients that truly did not “require” funding the jobs of the workers would quickly become more manageable. Hell, hire me I will gladly take a cushy government job for half the pay, and help get people to pull-up and get a life.
Now, if in that initial 6 months a single person, with no dependents, can not find employment, education, or training that will help them gain employment, then too bad, they’re done! Harsh? Perhaps, but its reality. This should also apply to clients that have children who are at a sufficient age to care for themselves during regular working hours. If you have a 15 year-old child and you are sitting on Welfare, you should be forced to seek employment, period. Like I said NO OFFENCE TO ANYONE, but honestly it’s true.
I have heard of many excuses for not getting off the system, the biggest one is that “the client does not want to go work for a low rate of pay.” Let’s evaluate here for a minute, you are on Welfare, you don’t want to go work for minimum wage (which is now $10.25 per hour) because it is not enough to survive….????? Well it’s more than the average $600 a month you are receiving from Welfare as a single childless individual, so suck it up!
Another common excuse is that there are “no jobs”, I agree it can be difficult to find employment, but here in the city I live there are numerous “temp” agencies that are constantly looking for workers, and there are numerous job postings. They may not be the ideal careers, but again, I am sure it will be more sufficient than the amount you receive from Welfare each month, and it is easier to find a job when you have a job.
I am aware that there are extenuating circumstances, each case is different, but I also believe that a drug problem is not one of those excuses. Many individuals who are single and on welfare claim to have drug addictions, so hmmm… lets just hand this person 5 or 6 hundred dollars a month instead of helping (or forcing) them to take responsibility for their lives. ??? Doesn’t make much sense if you ask me, even if you don’t ask me I am telling you it is ridiculous. OK you have a problem with drugs, yes addiction is a disease, but you know what? It’s also a choice, I have chosen not to do drugs, I am sure you could too! It’s just not a good enough excuse as far as I am concerned, and if it is your excuse I would give you an option, go get help or get out of the system, period!
Maybe I am being cruel, unsympathetic, or outright nasty. Perhaps I am not looking at the needs of each individual, but the reality of it is that allowing these people to “use” the system and their excuses for so long is what has fucked up the system in the first place!
After the 6 months if you have gained employment, education or training and are actively working, or preparing yourself to work then I propose that the system helps provide you with the things you require. For many people this includes drug benefits or supplemental income, fine that I have no qualms about, but if you are doing nothing after 6 months then clearly you are just doing nothing, and deserve the same in return.
As I said this rant is not meant to offend anyone, it is not meant to belittle, or hurt. It is simply my thoughts on the basic facts. Life is hard, but only as hard as you make it. Welfare was not designed to be a “way of life”, yes the system has major flaws that sometimes make things more difficult than what I have stated above, by no means do I think I can fix all the worlds issues, or the system with this simple thought. But I do think that with a stricter policy for single, capable people on Welfare there would be fewer issues for those that truly do require the help, and there would be far less laziness and excuses on the part of those who could manage without it.
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