Giving them money for nothing will put the country into dire straights

For years I've been telling anyone in power who will listen that the way to get young people in decent jobs that will solve the UK's decades old skills problem was to cough up the money to pay apprentices for three years while they train in their chosen trade.

Giving them money for nothing will put the country into dire straights

When I say anyone, I include several former residents of Numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street. And despite almost making some progress in the days when George and Dave were neighbours in those famous addresses, I never managed to get the ball past the goalie.  

They listened but it was always… ‘Well Charlie we agree with your aims, but it’s just not that simple’, or ‘We’d love to put your plan into action, but there’s just not the money to do it.’

So, can anyone tell me why the crazies in government now are taking seriously a plan by some nutty ‘not in the real world’ consultants from a think tank who want to give people £1,600 a month for not lifting a finger?  

For those who’ve missed this fairytale, think tank Autonomy has pulled out the begging bowl to try and fund a Universal Basic Income trial in two parts of the UK – Jarrow in the North East and East Finchley in North London – where 15 people from each area would receive a guaranteed £1,600 a month for two years.

If, in some alternate universe, this trial grew legs and actually became legislation, it would cost a bloody fortune.  A common sense economist (yeah, who knew!), Ryan Bourne laid it out saying that if every adult in the country was given £19,200 a year it would increase the government’s budget to about £1 trillion.  That’s nearly doubling government spending!

And how would this be paid for?  Well, out of our taxes of course, which undoubtedly would have to be hiked to eye watering levels. But here’s the other flaw in this level plan. Who’s going to be paying these taxes when a large chunk of society is pocketing their UBI?

And there’s the rub, country gets nothing in return for this massive payment, the government won’t get a brass farthing back in tax dosh since this new class of non-workers wouldn’t be contributing at all.  

Then there’s pretty much everyone else who, once these geniuses stop millions of people paying into the tax pot, get to shoulder even more of the burden to keep health, education, defence, police, roads, and a load of other things anywhere near up to scratch.  

Don’t they teach these consultant-types basic maths on their fancy economics degrees?  Seriously I think if these people who have come up with this idea were in charge of my finances, I’d be back in the council flat I came from in under two years.

What are they thinking!!??  We are having enough trouble getting the WFH crowd and the ‘snowflake’ generation to do any work and to get their backsides back into the office and these ‘Universal Idiots’ have come up with another way to encourage people to NOT work for a living.

For the love of God, we need to work for a living, create new ideas, inventions, build wealth to enrich lives, pay for healthcare and enough houses for everyone to live in, not take the little we have left after Covid and spunk it away subbing people to NOT solve the economic problems we’re facing in 2023. 

What we need are more apprentices and other skilled workers in training. So how about someone put me in charge of a pilot scheme to train 30 young people into skilled workers that might just build, plumb, spark, glaze and roof a couple of thousand houses in their working careers?  

Expand the ‘Mullins Plan’ to all those who want an apprenticeship and the 300,000 a year UK housing target, which has recently been scrapped by the government by the way, might have half a chance of coming true.

Charlie Mullins
Charlie Mullins

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