In an act of breath-taking hypocrisy, the Salvation Army, along with the YMCA, have both signed a letter to The Times calling the current benefit sanctioning regime unfair and counter-productive.
This comes despite both organisations being involved in ‘Mandatory Work Activity’ and therefore responsible for reporting unemployed people to the Jobcentre to face sanctions if they don’t turn up for unpaid work placements.
The Salvation Army has even been praised by the DWP for ‘holding the line’ on workfare after scores of charities distanced themselves from the scheme. When peaceful anti-workfare campaigners visited the Salvation Army in protest at their use of workfare, the charity locked them inside and attempted to have them arrested with fabricated stories of staff being man-handled.
The Salvation Army have repeatedly defended their involvement in mandatory welfare-to-work provision and also their operation of a Work Programme sub-contract. Claimants on this scheme, including those on out of work sickness or disability benefits, can be ‘mandated’ to almost any job search related activity that the charity can dream up, including workfare. If their victims fail to do what they are told then it is the Salvation Army’s job to report them to the DWP to have their benefits sanctioned.
Not for the first time some charities are pretending to care about the poor in public whilst stopping their benefits behind the scenes. If the Salvation Army and the YMCA think sanctions are unfair then perhaps they should stop sanctioning people. Until then, these grubby attempts to white wash their own workfare crimes should be treated with the contempt they deserve.
To join the fight against workfare visit Boycott Workfare’s website.
Charities and voluntary organisations opposed to workfare can sign the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement.
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