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IELTS essay, topic: Unemployment payments encourage people not to seek work (opinion)

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is close to IELTS Band 9.

Set 3 General Training book, Practice Test 13

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Providing a national system in a country where the unemployed receive a regular payment only encourages people not to seek work and puts an unreasonable strain on a country’s financial resources.

Discuss this statement and give your opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Band 9 Essay

In modern day society, money is a driving force for nearly everyone. Most people aspire to be financially secure and to have the ability to live the life they want. However, not everyone is able to find paid employment, and for that reason in some countries around the world, governments have initiated a system where the unemployed receive a regular payment to enable them to survive. Some people believe it is an excellent idea, whilst others believe that it is exhausting a country’s financial resources.

When looking at the positive aspects of this system, it can be said that it prevents individuals from having a private bankruptcy. When somebody becomes unemployed, he or she will have on-going costs such as rent for a dwelling, bills for water, telephone and electricity as well as the cost of food and several other things. Without a salary, this person will fall into debt, because they will be unable to cover these expenses. A national unemployment payment system will therefore prevent this person from losing nearly everything over time. Without such system, many people would become homeless and would potentially engage in criminal activities to survive. Therefore, one can say that this system is positive. Although stories are heard of people exploiting the system, usually the newly unemployed want to find a job fast in order to become financially independent again, meaning that the government does not have to support them for long.

Although there are positive aspects of this system, one can also say that if the payment made by the government is too high, it will prevent people from looking for work actively. Occasionally, the payment people receive is higher than their potential salaries, deterring them from working and creating an on-going cost for the government. A potential solution for this could be providing free training and employment support to open up new career opportunities with higher income, which would motivate this group to re-enter the workforce.

In conclusion, the unemployment benefits system has positive and negative aspects. Personally, I believe that the positive effects of the system outweigh the negative. The payment must remain on a level that helps people survive without regular salaries, but does not seem attractive to exploit over a longer period of time.

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