back to article Govt promises unemployed free laptops, net access, websites

The government will give jobless workers PCs and personalised websites as part of an overhaul of its unemployment strategy that will make being out of work a more virtual experience. The plans will also see an overhaul of the Jobcentre network as the government struggles to cope with a different type of unemployed worker and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Makes me angry...

    Unemployed get everything handed to them on a plate. Free laptops/Net Access - what - I pay for that...

    Enough is enough...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    The Government is going to turn all the unemployed into...

    ... WoW gold farmers!

  3. MarkOne
    Paris Hilton


    Giving a jobless scumbag with no intention of working, a PC so they can surf for p0rn all day, catchup on Jeremy Kyle on ITV-Player...

    Perhaps the goverment also wants to give them a 50in plasma, with a SkyHD subscription, so they can watch the jobs channel.

    Of course they also need a new suit, an alarm clock (to get up the interview that never exists), and a monthly bus pass to get to the imaginary job...

    Honestly, how out of touch are these people? They should be giving out LESS, not MORE...

    Even Paris knows that if someone does not want to work, giving them more toys only makes them want to work even less...

    1. Mark Eaton-Park
      Thumb Down

      I would imagine that the laptop will be limited

      I would have thought it unlikely that the Government would provide a laptop that could access anything other than Gov sites and censored email, as otherwise they would leave themselves open to being sued should the wrong person see something offensive.

      The intent here is to sack off some more jobcentre staff by buying a few laptops from Crapita, after all, even with the low wages that the JS staff get you can buy at least 30 laptops per redundant JS staffer and keep your investors happy

      I imagine their thinking is that if you can monitor all the unemployed remotely so as to be certain they are looking for work for so many hours per week, you can identify the ones that are not and these can have their benefit removed. You can also have all those unsightly unemployed stuck at home having to press a button every 30 seconds as though they were under house arrest or had some disease rather than having them in public where they might infect the others.

      So buy a few laptops, sack some JS staff and give some more public money to Crapita, nice one

  4. seanj

    Money from thin air...

    From which New Labour sphincterous cash machine would the funding for this latest round of "soundbite politics" spew?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    You can tell...'s close to an election.

    They're so unconfident that those getting free money from the government already might not vote for them they are bribing them with tech.

    Makes me sick.

  6. Eddie Cooper

    Government? Tax payer...

    The Government giving unemployed people computers & internet access? More like "The TAXPAYER paying for equipment & services to enable the unemployed to fill their days with hours of Farmville on Facebook / porn / gaming etc..."

    If this is really going to be then they need to ensure the computers & connections are monitored to ensure that only job searching happens.

    I don't pay my taxes so that some chav-bastard can jerk off to high def porn all day at my expense. Why the hell would they bother to find a job??

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Well said sir!

      Fantastic! Had two us in the office, in stitches!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nah, they'll just print it

      He'll just get Bank of England to print off some more money.

      Say 3 million people at £500 a year, that's a mere £1.5 billion, which is peanutes compared to the £200 billion they've printed to bail out Browns Govt so far. That's worth 3 million votes any day.

      Given the UK GDP is about £1.6 Trillion he's printed off 12.5% of the GDP and still failed to make the GDP figure increase... so they'll be literally chucking money at anything that can vote before the next election.

      Spray the UK in money, make the GDP go positive, try to get reelected, worry about the future later.

  7. Richard Porter

    It would be nice if they were Macbooks...

    but I suppose you'd have to go to the JobsCentre for those.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Employment minister Jim Knight said the Jobcentre Plus of the future would be: "A universal employment service, putting customers at the centre, acting as a broker for employers, with expert staff delivering personal advice and support."

    It would be "a service that makes the best use of technology, is part of a new style of public services, and whose success is measured on the numbers getting in to and staying in work".

    I wonder how much time Jim Knight has spent in a jobcentre recently.... because that is exactly what we do already and how we function.

    this announcement is nothing more than touting the idea of a Job Seekers social networking site. We in the civil service already have such a thing too, called CivilTalk, which is pretty much a rip off of twitter, for 'work' related things (which is rarely the case).

    1. SirTainleyBarking

      Don't worry about that....

      "I wonder how much time Jim Knight has spent in a jobcentre recently.... because that is exactly what we do already and how we function."

      Give it another 6 months or so and he'll be visiting his local branch personally, every two weeks.

      You can catch up with him then.

  9. Hedley Phillips

    not more handouts

    How come the unemployed get so much when those of us who are working hard get so little?

    If they want to use a computer, go to your local library and use the one there.

    No wonder I am paying over £1500 a month in tax/NI conts.

  10. Andrew 63

    @Makes Me Angry

    100% agreement.

    Nice to see my working hard doing two jobs is paying off... well paying some unemployed lazy arse who abuses the system anyway!

    I ain't going to knock the unemployed too much though as my missus is unemployed her self, but us being the age of students, she's struggling to find anything as low as a toilet scrubber at the moment! 50+ CV's have gone out all over the show.

    Its not on though.

    Kids. Stay in school, go to college / do an apprenticeship and you'll get to my position. IT Tech that often becomes manager, and a DJ. Pays well... and well pays the unemployed too.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A boost to the local economy.

    I predict rich pickings for anyone who fancies a new laptop in exchange for a couple of hundred B&H and a six pack of wife beater..

  12. Rick Byers


    They are not customers, except in PC gov speak land.

    In the same way that pupils are not customers and criminals are not service users.

    A customer is someone who gives you money in return for services. These are folks who we (Tax payers) give money to in return for no services.

    When I had the misfortune to be unemplyed for a shot while (after years of paying 6 figures a year in tax and NI) I got the square root of f* all, off the tax payer.

    Makes my blood boil!!!

  13. Anonymous Coward


    Years ago I was involved witha scheme to give a free desktop PC to every household in a certain part of Hull.

    If they had a phone line already, the IPS calls (KCom natch) were free. If not, a phone line was installed FOC and calls again were free.

    It was an eye opener for sure. How the project ended I don't know, but I do know that several were sold off at the rugby league car boot sale.

  14. Dr. Mouse

    I hope...

    that these free Laptops and Net Connections will be restricted to use only for jobsearch. I can just see all the unemployed who are not looking for a job jumping at this.

    IMHO if the govt want to do this, all PC's should be locked down so no additional software can be installed, and 'net access run through a proxy restricting them to a whitelist of services. No games etc to be installed on the PC, no access to facebook, just jobsearch.

    To keep costs down, a thin client would be best, and the broadband connection connected to a private network ONLY allowing them access to the terminal server (preferably Linux-based, again to keep costs down).

    Alas, what I see instead is Jobcentre paying for a broadband connection and PC, then all the jobless scroungers spending all day on Facebook.

  15. this

    Government Promises

    The clue is in the title.

  16. adnim


    I can't wait to get mine, I hope it is a high spec one with a big fuckoff graphics card in it. I have a PC and a laptop alredy. I could sell my PC, after I grind the serial number off and delete the originul owners docs and stuff. My mate'll show me how to do that. I could then score some weed, tissues and special brew and keep the one the dole give me for watching utube, downloading me porn and playin games.

    I don't want one if it's only got a cheapo video card in it, I might as well keep me own and avoid the paper work. I am sick of the paper work, 30 minutes to fill in a form and for what? A miserible £64 a week theys takin the piss. I have to spend ten minutes every fortnight thinking up stuff for the silly little bit of paper I gots to fill in to show I bin lookin for work. Cheeky bastards wot business is it of theirs whats I do in my own time. Wow a new computa fuckin great.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Its all a big mess really

    Unfortunately all government is populated by befuddled idiots. They heard the internet is great and will solve all their problems.

    I bet Gorgon Brown types with one finger as he appears to be one of those blokes with lots of Lever arch files in his office.

    Anyone that can use the internet appears to be some sort of whizz kid to this lot.

    Little do they realise the internet is what made thier population so monumentally stupid and gullible along with all the useless celeb TV shite.

    Anything they learn to do via the internet can be done 10 times quicker and cheaper abroad so wont solve anything.

    We need to get back to doing stuff other people cannot easily do.

    what this is is the big question and NOBODY in politics knows the answer.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    As an unemployed person...

    I agree with everyone else, this idea is stupid!

    I've been out of work now for over a year and the job centre staff just don't care. To them, we're just another number. They just check we've been applying for jobs and get us to sign the stupid form. They very rarely actually help us find a job.

    I'm starting to wonder what the point of the job centre is, I mean they aren't interested in helping us find a job, every job you go for there are shed loads of people going for the same job and when you do go to the job centre to sign on they spend most of the time sitting around talking and making us job seekers wait around.

    To be honest, I wish the job centres were more like the job centre on The League Of Gentlemen, at least Pauline and her pens would provide some sort of amusement.

    If you ask me, rather than getting a free laptop and free broadband (already have a laptop, already have broadband), I'd prefer to have a intrest free loan to start up a business, of course that isn't going to happen any time soon.

    Anonymous, as well who knows who is out there reading this...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. 1of10

    UK gov is nice!

    It is a nice initiative... BUT a "free" PC + "free net" + website do not mean getting a job! When jobs don't exist!

    Because, if that was the case then all IT people unemployed at moment wouldn't have problems finding a job "next door” - even without this "nice" initiative

    Isn't that hard for UK Gov to use common sense, and isn't that hard to think that what most of unemployed people want is a JOB...

    Well there are exceptions... some of the unemployed will be very happy with freebies as they are “professional unemployed full/part time” receiving benefits – where some of them have their living level far better than those that work well over 40h week and contribute with tax to this country.

    Anyway again UK Gov from LaLaLand ignoring the real problems and promoting nonsense initiatives.

  20. Martin 6 Silver badge

    We can do better than this.

    The government is going to be out on it's ear in the next 6( 3,4,5?) months so it can promise anything it wants - and this is the best it can do!

    It's basically last day at shcool for the government so you can suggest any daft plan you want. I call for free aircaft carriers for unmarried mothers and rocket cars for ex-miners.

    Any more suggestions from the el-reg brain trust?

    1. John Square
      Thumb Up

      Yeah- why not?

      In no particular order:

      >Business start up grants of £25,000 to anyone with a loft space, plus a free Mac. Call it sommat like "Energising grass roots British design studios"

      >A herd of Camels for anyone with a garden and kids: "Empowering the next generation of camel jockeys"

      >Swiss Rolls, Danish Pastries and French fancies for everyone, all the time: "Promoting European cultural synergies through the use of cake"

      >Lawnmowers for carpets to be delivered by parachute airdrop across the country: "To conserve energy by reducing foot-related drag on lounge circumnavigation experiences"

      That's four and it took no effort whatsoever. Crikey, any idiot can launch these policies!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually, further to my comments earlier

    I've just realised, they'll get all the bloody orrible Fujitsu noLifeleftBook S7110s that the DWP are replacing at the moment so perhaps it's more of a punishment than a gift...

  22. Nomen Publicus

    3rd time loser?

    So, what happens when the lucky unemployed person is caught downloading copyright material for the third time. Which insane government policy wins?

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    some of the comments on here are unbelievable and some of you should be f'kin ashamed!

    I lost my job in april and due to location and current climate I have been unable to find another job. Whilst I don't think the answer is giving out IT equipment to people I take great offence at some of you arseholes making statements about people who don't want to or won't work.

    Sure there are some but I think you'll find that they aren't on JSA as being on JSA is hard work really, weekly sign ons, 30 mile round trip to the JCP, £64.30 a week for a family of FOUR. Yeah it's great being unemployed the pay is great.

    Think before you employed lot with your nice pay packets open your retarded gobs!


    1. Anonymous Coward

      Your right and wrong

      I agree with you on your points, but also with the others. Your only getting 64.30 per week because you are an honest person thats playing by the rules.

      What people are pissed off about its the massive amount of "career unemployed" that know what forms to fill in and what figures they can put down without being caught out to get more money.. these are the people that will fill out more forms and get free PCs and Free broadband and free clothes for interviews and free everything! because they know how to use the system...

      You are having a bad time because of the rise in unemployment and you are somone that should be getting more, but get less because you are honest.

      Want an example! Last year my mum took terminally ill, my dad had to give up work to look after her. Me and my sister had to pay £1000 pounds a month into their household to pay their bills. It was tough and we could not understand how the family down the road managed on the money she was given as she has been off "sick" (dont stop her from playing football with her kids and going for a jog in the morning) so my dad asked, she told us about 20 forms to fill out, told us what to say and what to claim, we didnt do this as we didnt think that we should be entitiled to them, adding it up my mum and dad would have got about 10 times more money if they were liberal with the truth like the people that we are all getting fucked off about on here!

      This Gov is too good at giving more and more to the people that do not deserve it and less and less to the people that do deserve help.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I agree

        Your telling me mate,

        My story

        My wife has MS, some days she can walk perfectly well, other days she struggles to make it out of the front door without collapsing in a heap, she cant work due to severe neuropathic pain (nerves short circuiting all over, including ones "downstairs" now theres fun pain...not, also the phantom full bladder syndrome is great too she says *rolls eyes*) which means she takes a LOT of painkillers everyday just to get by.

        Tried to apply for DSA.....not disabled enough, bathroom issues not an "employment issue" in hells fuck is it not???? Know anyone employer who would employ someone who can have such polar good and bad days? Nope me neither and she isn't even 30

        Yours truly...IT Grad, well educated all round....can I get any sort of work?? Can I hell, IT Jobs - underexperienced and oh Iqbal from the agency down the road got us lots of smart asian chappies so we dont need any "local" help. Retail work - overqualified, even hiding the college courses and the bachelors degree, my ability to use words bigger than 4 letters gives me away, plus my interests consist of more than "fighting and drinking" which is a black mark again.

        Applied for retraining but SAAS wont pay my fees for another degree,and even if they did very few UK universities will allow me to take another bachelors degree, most only offer a masters which needs a 2:1 or a 1:0 for entry, which isn't happening as I loathed the course I was on by the end and really dont see the point of wasting 8 months trying for said grades.

        JC+ no use, they ECDL, which the manager of another office agreed was ludricrous and wondered why I wasnt offered trade training, (Which I would have taken and became an electrician) and due to their fecking around for months on end, I now couldnt land an apprenticeship even if they were still going around as I'm too old at 27 for any govt support to an employer to train me, meaning that some snot nosed brat who doesn't give a monkeys about the job will get it over me.

        JC+ also wouldnt even cover bus fares or the cost of a cheap shirt to go to armed forces interviews as "they arent interviews"....WTF so multiple office interviews arent interviews....funny felt like interviews to me, including one with their medical officer and a fitness assessment as part of the interview. All on different days and the bus fare is £6+ round trip....soon adds up and I still have more to go to.

        The kicker: No JSA as my wife gets Tax Credits as she is self employed part time and disabled and goes to college to fill in time (She is smart as hell, not all disabled people are mentally restricted) and they give her a small amount of cash also to help with course expenses, so the job centre decide that we get "too much already" and worse....the council decide that we can afford full rent and council tax which is over £300 a month from circa £800, without paying for electricity, food, debts, supplies for college, supplements to improve wifes health etc. Whats the point of central govt benefits to make it easier to live if local govt snatches them back?????

        So I told the JC+ to stick their non existent help and signed off, so the official jobless total is one lower

        This country just boils my blood, lazy get it all, everyone else gets screwed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This Govt.

        Sure, but it started with the Thatcher Govt. That began the process of trying to humiliate the 'scroungers' away, when the scroungers are the ones who feel no shame, whereas the ones who don't want 'something for nothing' do frequently feel ashamed to go cap in hand, so tacitly emphasising the shame pushes a certain percentage of the genuinely deserving into signing off, or never applying in the first place. Some will certainly descend into (or deeper into) depression, some will probably commit suicide, some become mentally ill. The spongers carry on claiming without batting an eyelid, but the claimant no.s have gone down so the Govt. thinks the policy is a success. And probably it is, because to them it is just bean counting and all that matters is bringing the figures the rags print down. If they cared about giving money to real dole scroungers, they wouldn't give quite such astronomical amounts to the likes of the bankers, either. And wouldn't make the expenses claims most of the ones with power did/do.

  25. Nathan 13


    Another idea that will have two effects.

    1 Make the unemployed less likely to want to find work.

    2 Make the employed more likely to want to become unemployed.

    They really havnt got a clue, in fact it really scares me how stupid our leaders are.

  26. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Not again!

    I hate being wrong, but every time I think this government can't get any more stupid...

  27. neverSteady

    I see a sneaky plan afoot.

    Give the unemployed free computers and Internet access.

    Then accuse of them of copyright infringement.

    Take away their computer and internet connection, and blame the whole file-sharing fiasco on the unemployed.

    Good plan.

    I think it might just work.

  28. Piggy and Tazzy

    Some of you lot are arseholes

    I'm really effing stunned at some of the comments on this. I might as well be reading the bloody Daily Mail - the messages carry the same amount of pathetic hatred.

    Gawd help any of you lot with the negative comments should you ever find yourself out of a job - THROUGH NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN.

    I seriously hope anyone currently unemployed (but looking - it does happen) treats the vast majority of comments on here with the utter contempt that they deserve.

    Yes, we all know SOME twats on the dole are exactly as described - sponging wastes of space, but get a fucking grip guys (and girls, if you're not too busy scrubbing pots and ironing) and quit with the tarring of everyone with the same brush - the vast majority of those on the dole don't want to be.

    And no, before anyone wonders - I'm lucky enough not to be unemployed.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    great idea

    Government funded Facebook and porn, what more do the unemployed have to do anyway?

  30. Ashley Stevens
    Thumb Down

    Big boost to laptops on Ebay

    Why give them a laptop? Half of them will probably just sell it on Ebay. Why not just give them the money to spend how they wish?

  31. Cohkka

    @ 'Fucktards' AC

    Hear Hear, well said, that man.

    I too had the pleasure of being unemployed recently, and figured after paying my taxes for 20 years I may as well sign on while looking. The major problem I ecountered was that the staff at the job centre are all clueless fuckwits. I turned up on my first signing day in my best suit, CV in hand expecting to sit down with a professional who would assist me in finding a job. What a got was a blank look, a shuffle of papers and an instruction to return in a fortnight. No assistance, no questions on what I was doing to find a job. Nothing. And dear God, don't ask them for assistance with paying for travelling to an interview; they demand to speak to the person who interviewed you to ensure you turned up. Yeah, I'm sure that having some asshat call up to check you bothered getting there is going to help your chances. It's unbelievable. If you do get to speak to someone about the type of work you're looking for, it gets worse since they know nothing about anything beyond the most basic of job types.

    Luckily I found a job after 6 weeks (no thanks to the job centre), but I feel your pain, AC, and wish you well in your search.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I would like to point out that the 'benefit' that you received whilst unemployed is called 'Job SEEKERS Allowance'. It is provided to allow the unemployed person to carry out the active seeking of employment, and not have it done for them by someone else.

  32. mark l 2 Silver badge

    another crazy labour idea

    Yet another crazy idea from this labour gov, the unemployed can already get free internet access at their local library and for those whose library is too far to travel a better solution would be to open local schools ICT faciltys 'out of hours' to people from the local community and let them do their job searching, emails etc there, as at least the internet access would be filtered and stop them surfing porn, playing games etc and the money they were going to spend on giving all the unemployed free pcs and internet could be spent on the schools instead.

    Also what happens if your given a free pc and internet access and then 1 week later you get a job, do you have to give it back or pay for it?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like the way...

    So many people who work free overtime to keep their job (boss happy / profitable) or have two jobs, complain that the unemployed are universally feckless. Move over and make some room if you don't mind.

  34. jon 72
    Big Brother

    Bloody Typical

    My wife and I went self employed using computers that we recovered and repaired from skips, no loans, no grants just 18 hour days and exhausted sleep, punctuated by an endless stream of officialdom that demands money we do not have. There is a moral here somewhere but will look for it later, tax evasion and offshore banking are looking more attractive at the moment.

    Of course every cloud has a silver lining and there is almost certainly going to be a catch for the un-fortunate recipients of these laptops. As any webmaster will tell you the server logs speak volumes, so there is going to be no argument whose applied for what and how long they were looking.

    Internet Access - pr0n surfing on a govt issue laptop, I doubt it. Odds are you will be blocked from visiting all but a handful of officially sanctioned websites. WOW is unlikey to be among them, unless of course somebody comes up with the idea of selling advertising to a captive audience..

    Plus if the govt goes down a mobile internet access path then the physical location of said laptop online can also be found fairly accurately. Job interview in Croyden, laptop at Glastonbury..can you explain... Heaven forbid the laptop has a webcam and microphone built in, they really could be watching you.

    Real bummer if you have to webcast your job interview as well;)

    Still I forsee a healthy trade in them, virus removal, repairs, specialist erasure and so forth

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Another unemployed person here...

    I am sure there are people who do not want to work, but please don't paint all unemployed people with the same brush. I have an illness but I want to work, I apply for jobs, I study (using the free lectures from MIT, etc) to keep my brain busy and I do some volunteering work.

    The free IT stuff is a joke, nice if I could have some free stuff, but it is not a solution.

    There are lots of radical ideas for providing a NEW solution, but as the country is bankrupt (financially and morally) we must start with what we have got.

    1. Job Centre: instead of spending 10 mins interviewing people and asking what they have done, why not try and match us with employers and jobs?

    Would it be too hard to act as an employment consultant and act on my behalf?

    All I get is, "We don't really get much for people like you, y'know with professional qalifications, you're probably better at searching than me." Well, thanks for all your help!

    I want to get back to work, help me do it. The service you [don't] provide me doesn't add value.

    2. Sort out the jobcentreplus website, it sucks.

    Just for fun, try going to the site and search for a job. Post your experiences here.

    3. Rationalise the benefits, tax credits, child benefits, etc. That way I don't have to send the same data to multiple places [originals only BTW], and when things change it is all linked up with NI and Tax. This way the right payments are made to the right people at the right time.

    4. Provide the same support for people with mortgages as they do for people who rent.

    - I have a mortgage, I have to pay it all the time whether I am employed or not.

    - If I rented I would get it paid, upto a fixed ammount determined by local rental prices.

    - Why not pay me upto that fixed ammount to cover my mortgage interest (2/3rds of the local payment would cover my mortgage interest)

    - What is going to happen is that I will loose my house, go onto the housing list, end up in rented accomodation - which will cost the full ammount of the allowed payments [all the landlords know what the going rate is, so that is what is charged], cost the taxpayer more in the long run. Then house prices drop because repossesed properties are sold of quickly and usually less than market value.

    - I would even be happy if the payments were made as a loan, which is taken back out of my pay packet when I do get a job.

    Being unemployed sucks, but this is the first time in 23 years of work [paying NI and Tax] that I have been unemployed. I never expected to be unemployed, but when it happened I expected that I would be looked after so that I could get back to work quickly without having to jump through hoops to get what I am entitled to.

  36. Igor Mozolevsky


    ... paid for with virtual money?..

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Time to buy shares in MS!!!

    Great all these PCs will no doubt will have genuine Windows copies installed, so that's another 3 million Windows licenses! Get some MS shares!

    Why not simply install locked down Linux? At least they won't be able to fuck them up in 5 secs flat by installing a load of malware/viruses!

    1. They will end up down the "booty-sales"

    2. They will get malware in the first 3 mins connected to the free ADSL line

    3. They will have some right load of ripped off software pulled off a torrent and Mandy's Gestapo will be kicking in the door and seizing the PC!

  38. Jonathan 17

    As long as...

    ... the laptops come with tubs of vaseline and a subscription to a porn site its okay. I mean, who owns a pc without porn? It just wouldnt be right, poor jobless folk given a laptop and internet but no eye candy. Poor guys.

    I think we should subsidize their super strength lager too. We dont want them spending all of their money on alcohol so we'll just provide it for free. At least then they can spend their benefit money on food, or shooters, whichever seems to be the better idea at the time.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Mega City One

    The current situation is starting to sound like Mega City One in the old 2000AD progs. A ridiculous jobless rate and the government (along with private enterprise) setting up crazy programs for the idle masses.

    Giving laptops and free internet access to people is not the worst idea I've heard, I don't think access should be restricted. How can you learn, research, and build skills on a hobbled system? Though probably those that are really interested in such tech already have it (stolen? Purchased with drug money? Hopefully not) and handing these things out to everybody is probably not effective.

    I recall another program where the gov't would give out tools to people who were out of work. I guess so they could swell the ranks of dodgy contractors instead of the unemployment lines. That's didn't go so well, lots of botched home renovations, and many pristine tool boxes for sale at markets in the east end.

    I expect similar results here. Though a chav at home playing WoW or networking on facebook is much better than a chav attempting to steal your wallet or car or binge drinking lager in the park and throwing up on your doorstep.

    Is the weekly unemployment payout really only around 64 GBP a week? What's the point? I guess that's over and above the dole then? Still scary, guess I better put in a few extra hours while I still have employment...

  40. Rob Elliott

    I'm Jobless, yet looking

    I understand those who are saying about the fact its jobless bums not wanting to work, but what about those who DO want to work?

    I lost my job back in July, and daily I'm sending CV's and Cover letters, spending what little money the JSA gives me on stamps, paper, ink and envelopes (granted I buy in bulk monthly), plus paying for my TV, Phone and Broadband package myself, and food for my family.

    I've gone from earning 18k PA to earning pittance, and expected to still pay for xmas for my kid.

    Granted, I've got 3 TV's (none are flatscreen), I also have a kickass PC (which I built and paid for myself) and my partners laptop.

    If anything the goverment could do, is pay me more, or take over some of my bills.

    Yes, I'm actively seeking work (from whats said above) and after all of the above, I'm lucky if I can afford to put £5 on my phone for credit, and try to save for Xmas.

    I honestly don't know how those on JSA, or any benefit can afford to get nice TV's, Car's, etc, apart from being a drug dealer (which I don't fancy doing).

    I guess, my point really is that not all of us on "the dole" are also not looking.

    Oh, just to add before I let this go, I've got a fair amount of experience in IT, Administration and Customer Service roles, so its not like my "trade" has died.

    1. william henderson 1

      no easy answer

      i know a few who, never having worked, in recent years, could afford to drink so much, they put their lives in danger. one was given a week to live if he did not stop the booze immediately.

      i wish i could afford that.

      on the other hand, i know some, made redundant, who are desparate for work but the jobs are held by immigrant workers.

      the whole system is rotten, just like it's creators.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay them to dig Keynsian Holes

    2 million official unemployed, pay them the average wage (median is £20000). Half of them dig holes, half of them fill in holes, full employment, what does that cost?

    Only £40 Billion, Government is printing £200 Billion in Quantitative Easing, so that is bugger all by comparison.

    Trouble with that is if the economy underneath is falling by 18%, you need to spend more than that, to make the GDP turn positive to pretend you have growth. i.e. more than £288 billion.

    So increase the wages to £40k, and you've doubled it £80 billion. You don't have to call them holes, lets call them 'trenches' and call the diggers/fillers 'the national guard on practice' like the US does. Pretend they're brave soldiers and equip them with iPods and other expensive technological kit. That'll soak up your £288 billion easy.

    They'll vote for you too, trouble is you'll have a war economy constantly trying to invent new threats. Never mind, be a war mongering right winger.

    All these people with their funny money drive up house prices and land prices. You get a bubble if you don't stop the overspending which of course will pop. But maybe you'll look like you knew what you were doing Mr Brown.

    Welcome to Keynsian nonsense.

  42. David Neil

    It's all gone a bit Daily Mail on here

    AC at 18:45 hit the nail on the head, you jump through hoops, prostrate yourself before some clown, who's in a government job which is safe as houses and comes with a pension the rest of us an only dream about, and for what - enough money to ensure that you can't afford to get to an interview in the next town.

    Job centres are a waste of time for anyone in IT - let's be honest you would never stick an ad for a position in your workplace in there. We know the job centre would just send you anyone who had a passing glace at a playstation down for an interview, and HR would much prefer to go with their mates at the agency.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      *gone* a bit daily mail?

      The commentards have been a bunch of raving neo-Clarksons for quite a while now. It's the occasional brainfarts or accidental flashes of brilliant that are the exception rather than the rule.

      Also, when is Andrew Orlowski going to get a Daily Mail column? Cade Metz would be a good fit for news journalism with his/her excellent research skills, too. I for one welcome the coming ensoupening of this globe, maek it stopp!!!oen

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it really matter?

    100 billion GBP on IT projects ...

    70% of recent projects failed ...

    Now those are some extracts from

    And the sad, shameful and stomach churningly awful thing is that it seems to tie in very well with banks & finance sector doing a really excellent job (for some) of pocket lining (their own) and publicly funded sectors doing exactly the same.

    And it sort of leads to ...

    + are they in cohorts (MPs with shares in companies taking public monies very easily)

    + aware of the colossal waste of public monies

    + never before have such good intentions been so very thoroughly fleeced

    + the UK has a very obvious senior management crisis (well, they are the ones who take responsibility. All that the Labour government can be so genuinely accused of is of being so stupidly, stunningly naive to believe senior managers.)

    Then there are prudence, governance and diligence issues.

    It looks (interim conclusion) as if Labour has been ripped off by senior managers with a serious senior management issue in the UK part of which seems:

    + say 'owt, but take the money

    + once the monies have been got restructure with lots of kaboodles going you know where, nothing or very little to front line workers and for the public sector: an additional reduction to public service at much increased cost.

    There! That's it!

    Problem solved?

    Paris because as one accustomed to handling and managing capital sums she is probably well aware of the pitfalls our public fund administrators seem to dive into

    ps - if it is local government managed or whatever rest assured that the kit will be the cheapest (stuff that could not sell in the shops), has been reconditioned and so forth, and that the servers will probably update every 48 hours so that there will be a considerable timelag in information and consequences arising

  44. Eradicate all BB entrants

    To those....

    .....who are unfortunately unemployed. Since April? Asda not hiring? No one looking for short term contractors? Last time I was made redundant I took on shitty 4 week contracts paying little more than minimum wage instead of signing on, the time before that I worked stacking shelves in a supermarket.

    I know the type, stacking shelves is beneath them but crawling out of their pit once a week to sign for a hand out isnt?

    As an employer I would pick the shelf stacker.

    Then again I also think that income tax should be used for its original purpose, to pay for the wars we fight. Imagine Bin Laden's face when 3 million chavs turn up in the foothills of Afghanistan.

    1. Jon 52

      to answer your questions no

      Christmas season excluded, a friend recently graduated from Uni with a civil engineer degree, there is very little work around, he applied to all supermarkets, they either wouldn't hire him or he was "too qualified" presumbly meaning they were worried they would pay money to train him only to see him dissapear the minute the ression picks up, where as a school leaver would be stuck there for life.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People always misunderstand

    tax and benefits. Benefits are not really benefits for the person receiving them, it is just primarily there to stop a revolution.

    Taxation or the Bully Fund, is about control via the few, ultimately it is the banks who lend money to governments as long as they secure the loan on taxation.

    If there was a free economy, and we were a free society, there would be ample opportunity for business and work, but because we are bank controlled, multi culture, bureaucracy with fascist leanings there is widespread poverty and unemployment. All they try and do is manipulate things so they can keep control.

    If you imagined you were in a spaceship, looking down at how it all works, you would laugh your head off, at just how much crap the average person takes and doesn't do anything about it. And you would also notice just how incredibly greedy some people are.

    No money has got destroyed, so there are great big stashes of it, people need to start spending again, none of this austere crap. Brown is a grade A moron, just do the opposite of whatever he says and things will turn out better.

    A responsible government would be doing everything it could to make people and the country self sufficient, but this lot are just in it for themselves, it is pretty disgusting when you think just what fellow human beings are subjected to because of government incompetence, greed, and callousness.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Eh what?

    This is the Job Center, this is the place that has no proper categories in their system for IT Jobs. Try going in and telling them you're an Oracle Database Administrator and they'll have problems... trust me I've done it.

    If I get a free laptop do I have to give it back when I get a job?

  47. Goat Jam

    Waste Of Money

    What they need is to setup "Work Centres" filled up with these;

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I remember in the last recession

    someone saying that teaching novices elementary IT skills was the modern equivalent to teaching basket weaving - it took some effort, but was utterly useless. Name one person who went from unemployed through Clait or ECDL to greatness in IT....

    1. jon 72

      I can name one!

      "Kohai" at , former NHS nurse (34yo when she did her CLAIT) now employed as a full time member of staff for aformentioned site keeping a watchful eye on the million and a half members between dealing with technical issues and developing applications for Facebook & Google.

      Greatness is of course a subjective term but you could go ask the members in live chess for yourself just what they think of her.

      No use asking what I think, I'm biased.. 'Kohai' aka Julie is my wife.

  49. someblokeontheinternettoldme

    Its all much more civilised in the Netherlands

    Having spent 6 months looking for an new contract at the end of last year/start of this year i sympathise with those trying to find work, I'm now over in the Netherlands where unemployment benefit is 70% of your last salary (up to 177 euros a day) depending on how long you have been employed for this last for between 6 months and 3 years, not sure what happens after that.

    The downside is higher Taxes, (although not buy much as NI is lower). At least having been a contractor I planned in a period of not being employed but when I was an employee I assumed there was some kind of safety net in place the bad news is the net is closer to the ground than you think and a lot of stuff just doesn't apply for a long time and if you have a mortgage you are totally fucked.

  50. william henderson 1

    i wonder...

    why i even bother getting up in the morning, never mind walking 2 miles to work.

  51. JP19

    What's the point

    How much of our unemployment problem caused by the inability to connect suitable applicants with vacancies? Very little I imagine so this is just FuLab pissing away more money on a problem we don't have

  52. Anonymous Coward

    So the drug dealers will have all new machines then

    Another stupid govt "plan" which will mean that the usual collection of neds/chavs/junkies and teen mums will get top specced laptops to surf bebo/myspace etc with or pawn / swap for heroin etc.

    Anyone who actually could use one will get told "you dont meet our criteria as you arent a drug abuser/chav/ned/teen mum/lifetime dole scrounger/unemployed for less than a year" so ruling out anyone who actually wants to get back to meaningful work.

    So more taxes squandered, yet again. Though the tories are just as bad, asset stripping at a govt level so they are.

    easy solution to the jobless situation in the UK - Employers have to prove that NO ONE in the country will take the job and they MUST train someone to do the job before bringing in anyone from elsewhere.

    But that would be sane and sensible, and thus wont happen. Plus HR would hate it, as they might actually have to organise some proper training rather than "you have no rights and we can send your job overseas tomorrow if you try to claim your legal rights"

    This country is just a joke, no respect for the population whatsoever.

    Fire as that is where all HR staff should be

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think they know what they're doing.

    All the programs giving extra help to the unemployed seem to be handed over to private contractors.

    Much of the labour market doesn't involve the job centres at all. It's all employment agencies and short-term jobs.

    And the "work experience" system seems to be effectively giving employers free labour.

    Apart from being the admin contact for getting benefits, which means they find out when people get jobs, and when they lose them, I'm not sure how the government can know anything useful about the overall job market.

  54. WotIfink

    Foolish comments

    I have often thought how knowledgeable and sensible the posters on The Register are.

    However, on this occasion many of you have shown yourselves to be selfish, small minded and ignorant. Frankly, some of you are only fit to write for the Daily Mail.

    I suggest that you wait and see what actually happens once the headlines and publicity have passed.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Pot. Kettle. (To an extent)

      I have been briefly unemployed and I can tell you one thing; it's easy to get a job. Very easy. Even in a recession. The job may be crap, it may pay low wages, you may have a bugger of a commute and you may have to do some hard labour; but you can get a job.

      Almost anyone can get a job.

      Thus "free" benefits should be limited to a maximum of 3 months; no excuses (carers, genuinely seriously ill and seriously disabled excepted).

      And if people still refuse to get a job, I have an answer for that. Work gangs. After 3 months, if you still want benefits, you have to report and join a work gang. You will then be made to pick up all the litter that the feckless retards in this country (many probably post here) drop every day. You will be made to unclog drains. You wuill be made to remove flyposters and graffiti. You will be made to pick the crap out of ponds/rivers. You will be taught a work ethic.

      Or you will go hungry.

      Choice is yours, and I have *no* sympathy for those who do not try (failing is OK, at least you tried, but to not even try is inexcusable).

      "I suggest that you wait and see what actually happens once the headlines and publicity have passed."

      I'll tell you what will happen - the be-laptoped scroungers will vote Labour and still not get a job.

      Dole-scroungers are a cancer on society.

      1. NB

        you sir...

        win an internet!

        I too have had a similar experience. Last time I was made redundant did I sign on? No. I took a job as a bin man at a local shopping center whilst looking for more IT related and engaging work in my spare time. Within a couple of months I found a great job that I've been at ever since.

        At least one part of the problem is people who think that certain jobs are beneath them. Their hubris and pride serving only to make them burdens on those of us who actually know the value of independence.

        Then there are those who simply don't want to work, the real dole scum. I totally agree with the work gang idea. Give the fuckers a real incentive to find a better occupation. The welfare state is meant to provide a cushion for those in need, not a silver spoon for a bunch of lazy scroungers.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now come on

    Save the Daily Mail type comments for the Daily Mail when it invariably picks up and distorts the story, with Littlejohn likely chiming in from his Florida mansion. Wait and see the facts - from a proper factual source, not a story speculating on "plans" - before leaping to daft conclusions and then getting outraged over your imaginary world where everyone's out to bleed everyone else dry.

  56. Anonymous Coward

    How much ?

    Yeah. Everyone is going to get rich on benefits.

    All of £64.30/wk.

    Then there are the council-tax benefits...paid to the council-direct.

    And maybe housing benefit-paid to the lanlord.

    Eventually, the mortgage gets paid...some of it.

    LOADS of largesse handed-out. Not.

    What good is a laptop and internet access when the jobs are not there ?

    This is not to improve services, it is to provide SOME SORT of service, since it is TOTALLY INCOMPETENT at the moment. It takes at least an HOUR to get through to anyone at any jobcentre (at 3.9p/min if you're not on BT) (unless you go into the jobcentreplus offices and use the phone there) (not popular that)

    And what are these laptops going to connect TO ?

    The Gov Gateway ?

    The same site that means multiple registrations....since going in through a different route tends to confuse the poor thing (and there are so many ways in....and the back button doesn't work...)

    They sent a copy of their version of my cv (they rewrote it....) and sent it in a format that the pc had fits trying to read....too easy to use word ?

    At the end of the day...there are so many private companies and trusts and others running around within a jobcentre you get confused as hell trying to figure out what is what and where...or if !

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jobcentre website ?

    Why use that ?

    Use the route:

    Even the jc+ staff use that route !

    If you need to use the government gateway....bookmark your route into it....the password and id is unlikely to work via another route !!!!!!

  58. Mark Eaton-Park

    I wonder if it will be Crapita handing out the laptops?

    Is this another Gordon Brown pays Mr Aldridge again for the loan?

  59. Big-nosed Pengie
    Thumb Up

    Great idea!

    Put Windwoes on all those PCs, train and employ an army of people to go and clean out the porn and malware on each PC three or four times a week, teach people how to use them, repair the broken ones, etc. For each free PC provided to an unemployed person you'll need about three trained MCSEs. Everybody wins!

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Then they'll get them taken back off them.

    When they get caught breaking Darth Mandy's p2p rules.

  61. The BigYin

    It's a bribe

    That's all it is. A bribe to vote Labour and keep this corrupt lot in power.

    Not that the Tories would be much better (they're also corrupt scum).

    The LibDems are a joke (spineless)

    Forward the Monster Raving Loonies!

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC How much?

    "Yeah. Everyone is going to get rich on benefits."

    Ah irony. Depends whether you define rich as having a lot of cash in the bank or cash to spend after paying the bills.

    "All of £64.30/wk."

    More than some working people have left after paying the bills

    "Then there are the council-tax benefits...paid to the council-direct."

    Most working people have to pay council tax

    "And maybe housing benefit-paid to the lanlord."

    Most working people have to pay the landlord

    "Eventually, the mortgage gets paid...some of it."

    Or a mortgage

  63. Jacqui

    Free computa = DCA fodder

    I helped out building and giving machines to people who have no money, no internet access etc. We stick lunux on old school machines and teach people how to use Ooffice etc.

    All of the machines were donated by schools as 'junk' - half of these were 'appropriated' by debt collectors in less than a month! Contacting the DCA was a complete waste of time - the machines had nice bright labels stating they were on loan and "property of xxx" but the DCA's still take them and (try and) sell them on - most were scrapped when the DCA found they were of no resale value.

    As of today out of 20 machines I helped build, only one is where we put it - the rest have been stolen by DCA's and junked - sometimes with the people who we handed them to being charged for their disposal!


    1. jon 72

      Re: Jacqui + Free computa = DCA fodder

      You are not alone, similiar problems with DCA gobbling up recovered and restored computers that we had repaired and passed on to those in need via Forest Freecycle Newent here in Newent. If you can figure out who we are drop us a line, we are the only PC repair shop in town.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    It's all gone a bit.., really.. Except that the unholy turspurts aren't ones gleaned from the BBC website public feedback, people are actually writing them here. On purpose.

    Laugh or cry, either's fine.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "expert staff delivering personal advice and support."

    Just like they do now, right?

    What a joke. When I was on the dole (not through choice but necessity) I never once received any useful advice. They told me a whole bunch of stuff I already know (spell check your CV... REALLY? - I thought I could just hand it in with loads of spelling mistakes)

    No one ever said "I've found a company with an opening that's just perfect for you" or "why not consider training as.... here's a course being run in your area" or "here's some decent contacts at a couple of big employers, call them"

    No. This is what I got:

    "here's 12 minimum wage jobs as a cleaner and if you don't apply to all of them within a week we're cutting off your JSA"

    I almost asked one of them if I could do their job... looks real easy you just assume everyone who comes in is a scumbag and treat them as such even though they may be genuinely trying to find a job (not as a cleaner).


    Will the laptops help anyone? No. Because a) you can use computers at the library and b) there are no jobs.

    The government are TERRIFIED of admitting B. There just aren't enough jobs, the jobs that do exist don't pay well and everyone currently at uni is wasting their time and money.

    Whats more buying laptops does create jobs... for Chinese sweatshop workers. Almost no one in Britain will benefit.

  66. Anonymous Coward


    "A universal employment service ..."

    Is that a service for universal employment, a universally-accessible employment service, or a universally accessible service for universal employment. And isn't that a bit ambitious - surely it would be better to start with just the UK and go on from there to universal domination?

    "... putting customers at the centre ..."

    So you're not 'an unemployed', you're now a 'customer' and exactly like a customer you pay for using this service, can demand your money back when the product isn't up to scratch, have statutory rights and so on.


    Sorry, it appears that you're not /exactly/ like a customer, but we're going to call you 'customers' anyway because it makes us feel like we're doing something worthwhile and besides it's kind of business-trendy lingo - y'know "Anyone who wants anything from you is a customer" (a fact burglars and muggers should remember).

    "... acting as a broker for employers ..."

    especially those employers who are too incompetant, poor or lazy to do their own advertising.

    "... with expert staff delivering personal advice and support ..."

    ... for minimum-wage.

    "... a service that makes the best use of technology, is part of a new style of public services ..."

    You're telling me. From what I've seen I'd say most people who work for the government struggle to comprehend basic facts about computers; if they can suddenly leap from that to 'making best use of technology' that really would be something.

    "... whose success is measured on the numbers getting in to and staying in work ..."

    Because 200,000 shit jobs = success and 1 great job = failure.

  67. Anonymous Coward

    What a stupid idea

    How about, instead of this ridiculous, waste of money, we look at doing something that will benefit everyone. So here's my idea and it kind of follows on from AC's earlier....

    Unemployed? Want benefit? Great, come to the job centre on monday to start your work.

    Okay, what?

    Here's the thing, everyone who gets dole has to work for it - as AC says above, digging holes, picking up rubbish, working in Job centres, replacing paid Civil servants in call centres. And the pay? Same as the dole always is.

    Benefit for the unemployed - learn new skills whilst you try for your better jobs.

    Benefits for everyone else - no scrounging. No extra cost, oh and less Civil servants :)

    Makes sense to me anyhow...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      "... digging holes, picking up rubbish, working in Job centres, replacing paid Civil servants in call centres ..."


      "Benefit for the unemployed - learn new skills whilst you try for your better jobs."

      I take it this particular irony was intentional?

  68. Anonymous Coward

    The 1920's Germans had the right idea.....

    Of course then all members of the labour party would automatically be taken out the back and shot!

    Though most unemployed brits would welcome this anyday.

    And for the drug addled chav wasters there would be the accident in the showers with the soap (not on a rope) to deal with them. hmmm fizzy soap(with made in middle east stamped on it), not conducive to long term health.

  69. Steve Browne
    Thumb Up

    Being unemployed ...

    I am quite horrified at some of the remarks about unemployed people. I have been unemployed since February and have now applied for 1520 jobs via Jobserve and some others from agencies that have contacted me direct. I come second at interviews, I wish it wern't so, but that is how it is.

    Coping with the constant rejection is difficult, especially as some positions I have been interviewed for have seemed to be my ideal job, somewhere I think I could really thrive and get some seriously interesting work to do.

    I have been turned down for minimum wage jobs, because, they say, I will leave at the first available opportunity. Of course, no opportunity arises, so I wonder which one they are talking about. No matter, I still have my £64.30 to look forward to.

    At this moment, I doubt I can get anywhere now before January, but I still have to produce my job search record, to show the nits at the job centre what I am doing. They told me, at my six monthly review, that they were completely useless for people like me and could offer no help whatsoever.

    I ask about retraining, no help whatsoever. In fact, if you do try to retrain yourself, they will remove your benefits, as you are no longer available for work. So, you must sit and do nothing to improve yourself, but you must look for work or else.

    It would be far better to help those who want it. Help them to retrain into something different, should they desire and support them in getting themselves into work. Spending money on laptops for everyone is not going to do anything worthwhile. I watched someone attempting to sell a stolen laptop and couldn't get anyone to pay £25 for it. (Well, it was an IBM Thinkpad!).

    Good luck to those in jobs, I wish I was there with you, but be a bit kinder to those who have no work, it is not so easy to get a job these days. Now I am off to bed, I have an interview 40 miles away at 9:30 and it is 01:52 now.

  70. ElFatbob

    gubberment databases...

    This is surely evidence that at least one government database, the WPG (Wanky Policy Generator), works.

This topic is closed for new posts.