I've seen yet another person proposing that people be forced to work in order to collect benefits. Oh, and this chap too, more worryingly.
Question - is the work that benefits-seekers are to be drafted into going to pay them the minimum wage? It doesn't seem so, since net benefits (for a single adult) don't add up to the same as the minimum wage. If that's the case, surely by forced labour one is essentially supplying a huge pool of labour who can (unwillingly) give their labour for less than the cost of a regular worker. If that's the case, won't that destroy minimum-wage jobs, as companies queue around the block to get their hands on the cheap slaves? And then they start shedding their existing minimum-wage staff back into the unemployment pool, and "rehiring" them as forced-workers, until there are no minimum-wage jobs left?
Another question - would you really want someone working for you who had effectively been forced into the job? I mean, I realize that a lot of people work in jobs that they don't like, and often it will be because they have little alternative, but isn't there a quantifiable difference between taking a job because it's the only one going that will pay the bills, and taking a job because if you don't, the government will force you onto the streets as a homeless person?
Third question - what would a government do with the heap of discarded people from this ludicrous policy who were homeless and wandering the streets? Existing charities would be stretched to breaking point.
So yeah - forced labour: it may sound seductive on the surface, but seriously, it's a stupid idea.