There have been successive ‘reforms’ of welfare, they were and are not ‘reforms’, they are incremental steps towards removing entitlement and privatising the system as desired by Neoliberal ideologues. This is the latest round of betrayals from New Labour and at this time of recession appears very much to follow the principles of shock doctrine, as bad as it already is (eg. private corporations using proprietary medical diagnostic software that is not independently verified to decide who receives incapacity benefit or not) this would be a significant step in privatisation, which as we know is virtually impossible to claw back. Once they get away with this we are far away from any real prospect of repairing the system. So a broad coalition is needed to defeat this attack.
Via Socialist Unity–
Compass– This is an urgent call to action. In a statement published on the letters page of yesterday’s Observer and as reported in today’s Guardian, leading welfare and social policy experts have publicly outlined key concerns with major elements of the government’s proposed welfare reforms, calling for an urgent rethink.
We want people to live rich and fulfilling lives, this can be through work but equally through caring, parenting and volunteering. We should also recognise that many long-term unemployed face huge physical and emotional barriers that require enormous care, patience and investment through the state to help them lead their lives to the full. The government’s thinking was conceived in a time of boom. Now we are in recession. There are no jobs to push these people towards.
We never believed it was right to effectively privatise key parts of welfare services and hand them over to organisations to make a profit. Some of the private companies who’ve been lobbying the government to take over our welfare services, include controversial US corporations who’ve made millions in profits out of the suffering of millions who’ve found themselves out of work in George W Bush’s America. Don’t stand by and allow those same companies to force people into unsuitable jobs, making money out of people’s suffering, here in the UK. It is wrong to make profit in this manner from the vulnerable and unemployed. Equally we don’t think it’s right to force people to work for their benefits, particularly as this could equate to people being paid less than the minimum wage, let alone a living wage – Jobseekers Allowance is shockingly low at less than £10 a day.
Instead we want the government to invest in skills training and lifelong learning opportunities and treat caring and parenting as equally valid forms of work which are crucial to both society and the economy.
Just as people deserve dignity, rights and respect when they are in work, so people deserve dignity, rights and respect when they find themselves out of work.
Click on this link now to add your name to the statement: http://www.compassonline.org.uk/campaigns/campaign.asp?n=3451
We urge you to write a letter to your MP asking them to support our campaign and write a letter to the Work & Pensions Secretary calling for an urgent rethink of the proposals. You can also write in support of the campaign to The Guardian letters page and The Observer letters page.
With the recession and thousands more facing the prospect of losing their jobs in the coming months, we believe it’s right for the government to rethink its proposals – please offer your support today and help us win this debate.