Opinions: Should people work for their dole money?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
KEN LIVINGSTONE: I'm in favour if it starts with the Cabinet, who haven't done a decent day's work in 14 years.

AUGUSTUS, assistant manager, McDonald's: People take dole money for granted, they should work for it. I was out of work for four years and I went out job- hunting every day. Lots of people just sit around watching TV, waiting for their Giro.

JONATHAN ROSS, TV presenter: Not a good idea on the whole. It might be all right for people who wanted something extra to do with their time, but in my experience most unemployed people keep themselves busy, looking for work or pursuing other interests.

SUSAN NICHOLS, film technician, unemployed 10 months: If a job's worth doing, it's worth getting proper money for. If I was pulled in to sweep the streets I couldn't look for the work I'm trained for.

DAVID BENNETT, employment agency consultant: I don't believe in the something-for-nothing society. It would keep people out of trouble, make them feel better about themselves.

CHRIS POND, director, Low Pay Unit: Workfare isn't fair and doesn't work.

ROBERT ELMS, writer: It's an appalling idea. Not working is a perfectly valid way of living; if people don't want to work, they shouldn't have to. We're living in a post-industrial society so we can't offer everyone a job. We should try to minimise work in our society, not maximise it.

MORRIS BORDEN, private refuse collector: If they can find this kind of work for them, why can't they find real jobs for them and pay them a proper wage?

TARA POVEY, 18, student: It's degrading; criminals do community service. The unemployed are not criminals.

TIM WATERSTONE, bookseller: Youth is better served by being made to train - but the middle-aged, chronically unemployed should be treated with tender compassion.

Ms X, dole officer: We don't have opinions. We only carry out instructions.

(Photograph omitted)

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