Why government should think of unemployment insurance benefits assistance during this pandemic
By Sunday Makiri | July 13th 2020
With the Covid-19 pummeling, the government should create
unemployment benefits insurance for the unemployed to maintain the social and
economic services to its populace as part of its economic stimulus.
The unemployment benefits or compensations are paid funds by
compulsory government insurance to the individual citizen. Depending on the
jurisdiction and the person's status, those sums may be small, covering only
basic needs, or may compensate the lost time proportionally to the previous
Unemployment benefits are generally given only to those
registering as unemployed, and often on conditions ensuring that they seek work
and do not currently have a job.
Census data released this year shows that at least 39
percent of the young Kenyans are jobless; this has contributed significantly to
the widening gap on the social status between the rich and the poor.
The figure is set to rise in the wake of Covid-19, which has
tumultuously affected the country's economy. Therefore, it is desirable that
the government in-cooperate a provision in law for unemployment benefits soon.
The employment benefits would augment the income of very
low-income households to help keep them out of poverty. Unemployment benefits
provide additional support to workers during recessions, without sizeable
adverse side effects. Furthermore, this universal basic income is to cushion
those in the lowest strata and abyss, which can be a stimulus check for
everyone in hard times. For those self-employed and run their own business, tax
incentives programs can be inaugurated in local businesses. The essential needs
can be provided from taxes levied.
Some countries for instance Europe, that have adopted this
system, have seen a change as the percentage of unemployed individuals. The
unemployed benefited from the program and were able to acquire jobs through
state assistance. Their numbers dropped to 2.3 percent, with 74 percent of its
people aged 24 to 55 in the workforce.
The National Employment Authority established under act of
2016 registers persons seeking employment and maintains an integrated and
up-to-date database of all persons seeking employment, but part its functions
can almost be termed as non-functioning as its programs are yet to benefit the
many who are unemployed.
Lack of this incentive will cost the society as elevated
crime will make sense, because of the absence of a wage-paying job, people may
turn to crime to meet their economic needs. Moreover, the lack of income
created by unemployment can force families to deny educational opportunities to
their children and deprive the economy of those future skills, which will cause
erosion of certain skills in the job market. When unemployment is high,
especially during this great recession, the country will often look to
replenish her coffers by increasing taxation on businesses—counter-intuitively
discouraging companies and institutions from hiring more workers after this
Bottom line, the costs of unemployment go far beyond the accumulated
sums handed out as unemployment insurance benefits.
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