The Daily Mail reports that under a UK government policy announced yesterday ‘the feckless unemployed will be forced to take part in a punishing US-style ‘workfare’ scheme involving gardening, clearing litter and other menial tasks’. It is a bad account of what could be a good policy. Giving people money for doing something is better than giving them money for doing nothing. Work is not a punishment; it is what the world does. But gardens already suffer from a skill shortage and gardening is not a ‘menial task’ and it should not be assumed that the unemployed are feckless or unskilled. Many over 40s know about gardening and lose their jobs because of market conditions or bad management. Surely it is healthier and more pleasurable to work as gardeners, or to help for elderly people living at home, or similar, than to get the dole and watch TV.