Break the Election Silence: Fight Sanctions and Workfare!
No workfare. No sanctions. Whoever wins we will resist!
As the general election campaign gets underway we are already seeing politicians calling for more of the same policies. More workfare. More sanctions. Yet we know that these policies have been a total disaster. It is shameful that workfare and sanctions are supported by all the main political parties. This is why we are holding a week of action in the week before the election. We need your help to expose and challenge workfare and sanctions policies and the political lies that underpin them.
Workfare undermines paid jobs and wages and results in sanctions. It does nothing to improve the chances of people finding a job and exploits those forced to carry it out. Last year over half a million people had their benefits sanctioned. The number of benefit sanctions imposed by the DWP now exceeds the number of fines imposed by the courts. People are being left with nothing for up to three years. There is now overwhelming evidence of the harm being caused by sanctions. Sanctions are damaging the health of claimants and leading to hunger, homelessness and deaths.
Your actions have already had a huge impact in challenging these policies. Dozens of organisations have withdrawn from the schemes following public pressure. Over 500 voluntary sector organisations have now signed the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement to say they oppose workfare and sanctions and will not be involved. 25 councils have also said they will boycott the schemes. All this means it is getting harder and harder for the government’s private providers to find workfare placements. Hundreds of placements have been cancelled and your actions have made a real difference.
The week of action is a chance for everyone who opposes workfare and sanctions to demand an end to these cruel policies. However you can contribute join us to take action from 25 April – 2 May
More details on site here: Boycott Workfare.
At least some of the issues created by government policies on social security and welfare are coming to the fore:
Figures from the Trussell Trust, the biggest provider of emergency food aid with more than 400 food banks in the UK, will be seen as evidence that families on low incomes are not sharing in the benefits of economic recovery. The statistics could puncture the Conservatives’ optimism on the economy after official figures yesterday showed there are two million more people in work than in 2010, and 557,000 more than a year ago.
Labour will target David Cameron on food poverty, accusing him of being out of touch. The Prime Minister looked uncomfortable when questioned by Jeremy Paxman on the issue last month in the first of four TV election debates.
The number of people given three days’ emergency food by the Trussell Trust rose from 2,814 in the 2005-06 financial year to 61,468 in 2010-11, 346,992 in 2012-13 before jumping sharply to 913,138 in 2013-14 – including 582,933 adults and 330,205 children. Its figures for 2014-15 are due to be published on Wednesday and are expected to show a continuing rise despite the upturn in the economy.
The issue is also sensitive for the Conservatives because Trussell Trust surveys show that the most common reason for people being referred to it are delays in receiving state benefits. Changes to benefits also rank highly.
Last night Labour challenged Mr Cameron to sign up to a pledge to reduce the number who rely on food banks in the 2015-20 parliament. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Rachel Reeves, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said the 618 per cent rise in the number receiving emergency food aid from the trust in the past three years was “shocking”.
Independent (as signaled by Enigma).
We deserve a voice too!
No to Sanctions!
No to Workfare!
No to Maximus!
No to the whole rotten Work Programme!
Bring the Unemployment Business to a Halt!