The legalisation of slavery will form “a key part”, of the Government's economic strategy, sources close to ministers revealed last night.
As part of the plans, benefit claimants who do not find work within twelve months will be sold. The scheme will also be extended to claimants' families, as well as to the occupants of young offenders institutes, hostels for the homeless and students unable to meet university tuition fees.
“It's a cross departmental project strand,” a spokesman said, “taking people off benefits, off the streets, and out of prisons, and putting them into work At the same time it's about reducing costs for businesses, allowing successful entrepreneurs to spend less on wages, which means maximising profits and productivity.”
Industry bodies welcomed the news. “It's just the sort of bold, decisive move, we're looking for from the Government,” commented a representative of the Confederation for British Industry. “Up to now we've struggled to compete with manufacturers in the Far East who can pay their workers a few pence a day. Now we'll have a level playing field. And it's a really exciting export opportunity - a real chance to send the best of British round the world”
Government sources dismissed Opposition complaints that the move was too severe, and was likely to breach the human rights of those involved. “That's just typical liberal do-gooding.” one said, “Look, what we've got here is a plan that strengthens the economy, whilst cutting spending. OK, so there may be some pain for those affected, but in these times of austerity everybody's got to be prepared to play their part.”
The collection and processing of new slaves is likely to be contracted out to private sector firms that currently specialise in the recruitment of staff for call centres.