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Swedish government assault on benefits claimants – claimants urged to move to places where the jobs are or benefits risked stoppedSunday, 27 May 2012
Swedish government is under enormous pressure right now and it wants to do something which will either be popular or continue to dig the hole it already is in. For a government that has been accused of not creating jobs for more that it’s six year in control of the economy, the government is now desperate to so something that can help reduce the unemployment rate even if it does not mean creating new jobs.
The focus bizarrely is on newly arrived immigrants even though third and forth generation Swedish citizens from immigrant families still have it hard to get into the Swedish job market.
Newcomers to the country are mostly on benefits given the way the Swedish job market is structured The Swedish job market is extremely structurally discriminatory in terms of race and if one speaks Swedish, the market will discriminate you in terms of your accent. Only exceptionally world class skills can be tolerated in English language. But no with such skills will be migrating to Sweden anyway. So new comers who try to speak the language with an accent will be repudiated from the jobs market as such they will start living on the Swedish benefits handouts as soon as they get into the country.
So since the government feels that the high rate of unemployment in the country which is more among black and brown skin colour people who speak tectonic languages or have an un- Swedish accent, is cause by people not being mobile to places where there are jobs, Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag (People’s Party) has said that people who declines a job elsewhere in the country will have their benefits reduced or might even be stopped.
Erik Ullenhag said that "It is important that we are clear that if you have a replacement from the community you also have a responsibility to accept the offered job."
Stricter requirements are integration minister's recipe for attracting more newcomers to Sweden into the workplace.
According to a new proposal being prepared, the government through the state’s employment services will make jobs offers in other parts of the country where there are lack of skills. Language training will be provided and housing. Any jobseeker, new immigrant who rejects the proposal will see their benefits cuts. Erik Ullenhag would not want to abolish the law on independent living for asylum-seekers, which allows refugees to choose their place of residence. But he wants to "create tools" to control the settlement.
“You should of course be able to say no to a job offer elsewhere, but there will be consequences. You have a responsibility to help yourself to get into the job market and must be in the position to be ready to move were the jobs are,” says Erik Ullenhag.
The reduction shall be implemented as soon as one turned down the job the first time, according Ullenhag. How much money or percentage reduction to take effect remains unclear.
“It's something that we look at in front of our integration strategy and budget in the fall. My intention is for us to get a rule change that are very clear, but exactly on time, when this will be completed, is too early to say today. So for details we will come back to later,” the minister said.
Henrik Nilsson, coordinator of the Red Cross, said their organization generally supports that the same rules and opportunities must be applied to people born in Sweden as for the new arrivals, and thus also their responsibility to have that job.
The Red Cross is critical of the establishment’s reform as it tend to place all responsibility on the immigrant, but to simultaneously not invest more resources that for them to enter the labour market, which is really the biggest problem.
“The reform wants to provide incentives for individuals to get jobs, and that will be interpreted as meaning that individual are not doing enough themselves to get a job, but must be pushed. However, I have not met a single immigrant, asylum seekers, who do not have jobs at the top of their wish list. We believe rather that it is the structural discrimination in the labour market which is the major problem, which resources should be invested to tackle,” said Henrik Nilsson.
The desperate government’s reform has not been without criticism. In November, Swedish media reported about how rule changes in the so called integration policy caused a clot in the system. It takes too long to find housing in a community and the opportunity to get a job. Instead new arrivals were piloted to various appropriate municipalities where they have been left on the immigration holding centres, resulting in overcrowding.
By Scancomark.se Team
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