Chapter 4: Conditionality and unconditionality as strategies to prevent labour market exclusion
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From the 1970s onward until the COVID-19 crises, social policies on both sides of the Atlantic were dominated by programmes where payment of unemployment and social assistance benefits was made conditional upon participation on job promoting activities such as training, rehabilitation and work experience or on unpaid or low-paid work. The history of workfare policies teaches us that imposing sanctions and forcing people to take up any work to "pay" for their benefits does not alleviate the predicament of long-term social assistance claimants. On the contrary, tough conditionality deepens poverty and reduces well-being. Universal basic income hold promises for solving a wide range of problems related to means-tested benefits.