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"The Secretary of State may select a claimant for participation in a scheme"

Thu, 14/02/2013 - 17:08

The title of this post is the sole criterion set down in the new workfare regulations regarding whom and under what conditions a person might be required to undertake one of the Government’s forced labour schemes (with the exception of MWA). Gone is the much vaunted ‘voluntary’ aspect that was used to defend the schemes for the last year; now, if you are a claimant it is now completely arbitrary whether you're forced to chose between wageless employement or the loss of your benefits. 'The benefits system has entered the State of Exception.'

These are schemes that are specifically aimed at providing free labour to parts of the private sector whose profits are hit by crisis. 

These are schemes that are dishonestly labelled “Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment” despite research and statistics clearly demonstrating that – if anything – they have the opposite effect. (See http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/nov/27/data-work-programme-failures or http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2011-2012/rrep824.pdf for examples)

These are schemes that replace jobs, reduce hours available for existing employees and make it more difficult for the unemployed to find (paid) work.

These are schemes that will eventually come to replace many low-paid state sector jobs as the government hacks away at public sector budgets.

The fight against workfare continues.



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