Whoever runs the twitter feed for @salvationarmyuk had obviously been on the communion wine last night as they desperately attempted to justify the organisation’s role in workfare and benefit sanctions.
They had earlier released a statement in which they claimed that Work Programme no longer had benefit penalties attached to it, echoing fake Christian Iain Duncan Smith’s claim in the Mail recently that ‘our work programme is entirely voluntary’.
Why are Christians such lying bastards? When not filling children’s heads with nonsense they spend their time defending forced labour, despite the Bible’s clear warning to: “Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.” (well spotted by @Arbeitsscheu_UK ).
When the sinners at Salvation Army were called on their misinformation they claimed ‘we would never fib’. If they aren’t fibbing then they are grossly unaware of the activities of the Salvation Army and their involvement in the Work Programme.
Work Programme is a mandatory scheme under which people can be sent to work for private companies without pay for up to six months or face benefit sanctions. Salvation Army should be well aware of this, as they not only employ Work Programme participants in their shops, but they are sub-contractors for the Work Programme in several areas around the UK.
With the Work Programme shrouded in secrecy it is impossible to know for sure exactly what Salvation Army does. However since they boast of referring people to work placements on their website it is quite likely that they not only make use of workfare slaves, but make money out of referring people, under threat of benefit sanction, to unpaid work.
Sadly Salvation Army are not the only homeless charity involved in forced labour and sanctioning vulnerable claimants. The full list of Work Programme sub-contracters can be viewed at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-supply-chains.pdf
The following homeless charities are listed as sub-contracters to the Work Programme. As part of this weekend’s online action against workfare why not tell them what you think:
St Mungos (@stmungos) are Work Programme sub-contracters across London,they are on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/StMungosUK and can be contacted at: email@example.com
The St Giles Trust are on twitter @stgilestrust on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Giles-Trust/108464042506076?ref=mf and can be contacted at this page: http://www.stgilestrust.org.uk/s/contact-us/p506/contact-st-giles-trust.html
Finally SHP (formerly Single Homeless Project) don’t appear to be on twitter or facebook but you can find contact details at: http://www.shp.org.uk/content/contact-us
Shelter claim to have pulled out of Work Programme, although it is not clear whether this applies to voluntary staff within the organisation, or as sub-contracters for the scheme. You can ask them @shelter
Along with the big disability charities, all of these organisations provide mandated activity, which could include workfare. If their users fail to attend appointments, training, or full time work they will face benefit sanctions. Many homeless people have mental health problems and often complex health needs. These are some of the people most vulnerable to sanctions, and they can have a truly devastating effect. Housing Benefit is usually stopped automatically when a sanction is applied Whilst people can re-apply this often takes some time and for those in vulnerable housing or who have rent arrears, this can mean homelessness.
Just like the disability charities, these organisations have decided that what is best for their balance sheet is also best for their service users. Basic morality has been twisted out of all proportion in the search for hard cash. Benefit sanctions and mandated work effectively amount to fines and community service for vulnerable people, dished out not after a criminal trial, but on the whims of Job Centre advisors and charity staff.
Workfare has become so endemic amongst charities that some have even spoken of a carrot and stick approach to working with the vulnerable, as if they have a right to beat their users. These charities should be the most vocal in condemning this Government’s vicious assault on the vulnerable, the sick and the poor. Instead they have happily signed contracts under which they are forbidden from criticising workfare schemes.
Along with the disability organisations and all the other charities involved in Work Programme, the homelessness charities should stand together and demand sanctions be dropped from all Welfare to Work schemes or they will have nothing more to do with this abusive scheme.
It is a damning indictment of the charitable sector when Tesco, Burger King and HMV appear to be greater defenders of the rights of vulnerable people than St Mungos and the Salvation Army. The truth is Tesco pulled out for the same reason St Mungos are staying in.
It’s all about the money.
(above pic from: http://occupyallstreets.tumblr.com/post/17119476761)