Tuesday, 18 March 2008

SMF propose compulsory unemployment insurance

This lunchtime I was taking photos at a seminar at the Social Market Foundation - usually referred to as a Blairite think tank. The meeting was to launch a new policy paper which looks at the possibility of introducing a system of compulsory unemployment insurance.

The thinking is that many people are not financially covered if they lose their jobs and would face significant money problems. Whilst the poorest are catered for by the welfare state, the SMF reckon that the middle classes - defined by them as people earning over £27,000 - would be in trouble. So they propose a system whereby employees would automatically see a form of state backed insurance deducted from their pay checks. They could opt out, but it is felt most would not. Apparently it works well in Denmark.

The guest speaker was Work and Pensions Minister Stephen Timms (photo) who described it as an interesting idea without committing the Government to it.

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