Watch our film of claimants in Southwark telling their own story on YouTube – follow the link below:
From Work and Benefits:
‘ MANDATORY WORK SCHEMES TO CLOSE
The government is axing mandatory work activity and community work placements. The announcement comes after years of protests and court action by claimants forced into unpaid work with no prospect of a job at the end.
The not so good news, however, is that a new scheme called the Work and Health Programme is to be introduced.
As one commentator has already suggested, this might be the beginning of attempts to force claimants into compulsory treatment programmes such as CBT or help to combat drug or alcohol misuse.’
SCHEMES DUE TO END MARCH/APRIL 2016. BUT JSA/ESA/Universal Credit claimants will still be under pressure to take ‘reasonable’ offers of work or training under threat of sanctions.
See our factsheets on this website for more advice and to get more involved with LUS contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
LUS attended the Social Security Summit convened by Unite Community and PCS in Birmingham on 31st October. Keynote speakers included Unite Assistant General Secretary Steve Turner and PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka.
Their presence was an indication of the importance both unions are placing on the need to build stronger links with unemployed people in the fight against the £12 billion cuts to the welfare budget.
The meeting was well attended by hundreds of delegates from all over the country. The proposed cuts to working tax credits was seen as a major potential campaign that could link unemployed and employed workers.
Mark Serwotka stressed the need for all trades unions to make the issue of benefits cuts to the unemployed a high-priority issue on the TUC agenda. Colin Hampton from TUC Unemployed Workers Centres stressed that a major way of doing this was to promote the Welfare Charter and get it endorsed at every level of the trades union movement. He said that the new developments within the Labour Party made it more inclined to support such initiatives. He therefore urged trades unions to take advantage of this to add momentum to the campaign.
Paula Peters from DPAC said that her organisation was launching a ‘No More Claimant Deaths’ campaign alongside Black triangle in Scotland, following the large numbers of suicides and other deaths linked to Work capability Assessments. They are lobbying Jeremy Corbyn to devote a whole PM’s question session to this issue.