Scoping Out The Workfare Exploiters

Yesterday Boycott Workfare called for people to contact the charity Scope as part of the week of action against workfare.

Once more people picked up the phones, or took to social networking sites, to demand that Scope refuse to have any more to do with forced, unpaid labour.

This led to Scope issuing a furious denial, claiming that Boycott Workfare were attacking Scope’s use of volunteers.  This was far from the case.  Scope are involved in providing Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) placements in their shops.  These are four week full time workfare placements which are inflicted on unemployed people deemed by the Jobcentre to not be trying hard enough to find work.  There is anecdotal evidence of Mandatory Work Activity being used as a punishment should someone fail to ‘volunteer’ for other workfare schemes such as Work Experience.

Whilst Scope claim all their workfare workers are ‘volunteers’ the evidence suggests this is far from the case.  A recent press release from the DWP hailed a Scope charity shop which had conscripted a ‘reluctant’ workfare worker:

“A claimant with a poor work record appeared to be doing little to find work. The Jobcentre Plus adviser thought that Mandatory Work Activity could give them valuable up to date work experience and improve their work ethic. The claimant was subsequently referred to a Mandatory Work Activity placement in a Scope charity shop – a referral that the claimant was reluctant to accept.”

More evidence of Scope’s involvement with forced labour emerged on twitter when @awesomesauceuk tweeted:  “Being sent on Mandatory Work Activity. Was supposed to be interviewed but wasn’t. Will “work” in Scope for 4 weeks from Fri 13th. #MWA

When Mandatory Work Activity was first proposed, the Social Services Advisory Committee (who advise Government on welfare) warned that the scheme was likely to target the most vulnerable and strongly recommended it should not go ahead.  They also noted, that despite Scope’s statement, claimants cannot volunteer for MWA, noting that this rendered the scheme punitive rather than a measure to help claimants back into work.  Predictably the Government ignored the Committee’s recommendations.

Sadly Scope’s involvement with mandatory Government schemes doesn’t end there.  Scope are a member of Disability Works, a consortium of charities formed to maximise income from the Work Programme.

Claimants of sickness and disability as well as unemployment benefits are placed on the Work Programme for a period of two years.  During that time charities such as Scope have unprecedented control over claimant’s lives, with the power to mandate participants to almost any activity they wish.

Currently people on sickness or disability benefits cannot be mandated to workfare, although the Government have floated plans to change this.  Claimants can however be subject to sanctions for missing a meeting, failing to attend a training course or any other ‘Work Related Activity’ that providers like Scope may dictate.

Whilst the Disability Works charities have claimed they are not involved with the sanctions process, this argument has been shown to be disengenuous, if not downright dishonest.  Work Programme charities are required to raise a Compliance Doubt should a participant fail to carry out mandated activity.  A Compliance Doubt is a referral to the DWP to sanction a claimant’s benefit.  Whilst the DWP have the final say on whether a sanction is applied, it is the Work Programme charities, like Scope, who are responsible for setting the process in motion.  Basically the DWP are the judges and Scope are the coppers, quite happy to make money from policing sick and disabled claimants.

The homelessness charity SHP (formerly the The Single Homeless Project) has already handed back their Work Programme contract after claiming the brutal sanctions regime may cause vulnerable people to have to ‘beg and steal’.  Sadly the big disability charities, which along with Scope include Mind, Mencap and Leonard Chesire Disability have no such scruples.

10,000 sanctions were applied to claimants on sickness  and disability benefits last year.  Many of these were due to Compliance Doubts raised by the charities involved in delivering Work Programme.  Sanctions are devastating for all claimants, leading to abject poverty as well as the risk of Housing Benefit payments being stopped endangering people’s homes.  To apply sanctions to claimants who are sick or disabled however is a new level of brutality.  Sick or disabled claimants may have special diets as part of their treatment, pay more in heating costs or have other costs such as fares to hospitals and GPs to manage.  To callously strip vital benefits away from this group, many of whom have life-threatening conditions, is unprecedented on the history of the Welfare State.

That charities like Scope should be part of this attack on the very people they claim to be established to help is beyond belief.   Work Programme, workfare and connivance in sanctions is fast bringing the entire charitable sector into disrepute.  It’s time that so called charities like Scope say enough is enough and hand back these savage contracts that have caused so much damage to sick and disabled benefit claimant’s live.

Boycott Workfare have re-issued their call to complain to Scope along with a response to yesterday’s statement. Scope are on twitter @scope.

Also taking place today is a communication blockade of poverty pimps A4e called by Liverpool Combat Workfare. 

21 responses to “Scoping Out The Workfare Exploiters

  1. Arbeitsscheu_UK

    The usual lies surrounding #workfare coming from @scope and when their buddies the incompetent DWP expose them as an example in a press release they are still maintain their pathetic denial, how stupid do they think we all are? There appears to be no limit to the depths these exploiters will plunge to in pursuit of their pound of flesh to fund their disgraceful fat-cat crony salaries. Revolting!

  2. Pingback: Scoping Out The Workfare Exploiters | Social Welfare News | Scoop.it

  3. I call bullshit on that DWP article: noone goes from reluctant to work and thus has to be mandated to do it to being in a position to apply for an assistant manager position, that just happened to appear at the end of the period.

    To say nothing of Grayling’s complete crap: stopping people re-claiming ‘by the back door’! what the fuck is that?

  4. Charity is being dragged through the mud because of this sick, twisted Government and their business buddies making a fast buck off the backs of unemployed and disabled people. Personally I’ve become extremely cynical and distrustful towards all business charity setups.

  5. Fucking ATOS taking over Mandatory Work Activity contract from those cunts A4E is like Joseph Mengele taking over Harold Shipman’s fucking practice!

  6. Revolution kicking off in earnest in Spain. There is a msm blackout on what’s happening. Spread the word. It’s about time it started here too.

    http://www.tomalatele.tv/web/?p=3590

  7. Rise up.
    ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number –
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you –
    Ye are many – they are few.’

  8. David Cameron is a cunt’s cunt – a reptile with a suit on.

    This cunt could not be trusted to look after the contents of an empty fridge, let alone running the country.

  9. In Da Shit :
    HE IS THE KING CUNT, HE FUCKING HATES THE POOR, HE IS AN ARSE CUNT, TOTAL TORY PRICK, ABSOLUTE FUCKING SECRET CLOSET NAZI FREEMASON ROTARY FABIAN BUMHOLE…..THIS CUNT SHOULDNT BE ANYWHERE OR ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE WELFARE OF OTHERS BECAUSE ITS CLEAR TO SEE HE IS A WORKING CLASS HATING FUCK, I DETEST THIS CUNT.

  10. Cameron and his Whitehall cronies can’t even pay their cleaners enough to live on, that they have to instead use Wonga dot fucking com (other payday loan shark scum are availabel of course!)

  11. The Un Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

    http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml

    Article 27 section 2.
    ” States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not held in slavery or in servitude, and are protected, on an equal basis with others, from forced or compulsory labour. ”

    This Convention is signed by the British Government, and ratified, NO reservation has been entered on this clause. The UN Convention is legally binding on the british government ,. Need I say more?

    • Arbeitsscheu_UK

      So they just get disability denial mongers #Atos to rule they aren’t disabled and despite halt of their sham assessments being reversed at tribunal the #Atos head gets a £1m bonus http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/atos-fatcat-lands-1m-bonus-941601
      Whilst at the same time #Cameron‬ spouts on that undelivered contracts should cost the contractor. Although the #Atos contract could hardly be considered undelivered given that the the government stated its intention was to kick a million off Incapacity benefit.

  12. The difference between slavery on plantations in the 18th century and the workfare scheme is not really all that great.

    The slave owners gave their slaves food, clothing and shelter and were forced to work, The money that the government gives those on jobseekers allowance is barely enough to cover the basics of food, clothing and shelter and those on workfare schemes are forced to work.

  13. This has to be the stupidest, cuntiest government we’ve had for a while.
    But their stupidity really ‘channels’ the stupidity of the populace.
    The Daily Wail finds a few “benefit scroungers”, and the government scraps benefits, for everyone.
    In the same way that one ‘mad mullah’ exploits the Human Rights Legislation, so the government propose scrapping it, for everyone.
    Turkeys, it seems, really do vote for christmas.
    As long as there’s a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to something, to be whipped into a frenzy, this government will ruthlessly exploit it, to try to ‘turn back the clock’ .

    If you all get so angry about people getting money for doing nothing, -for “not working”, why don’t you feel the same anger for the capitalist system, which is based on exactly that principle..?
    Why aren’t you all screaming about the Duke of Westminster, who owns £6Billion of property in Central London, and any company you deal with, which has offices there, is charging *YOU* for the rent they pay to him.

    Similarly, a proportion of the cost of any food you eat, is rental paid to the feudal aristocracy of this country, who haven’t done a single day’s work, for the last thousand years!
    They don’t just “exist” on £67/week, that wouldn’t even cover the cost of feed alone, for the peacocks on the lawns.

    I’m all for indignation about “freeloaders” and the “work-shy”. But I feel you should cast your nets a little wider than the people at the job-center.

    Mr Cameraman talks about removing benefits from people who “don’t really need them”.
    I think he should start by not taking the £20,000 in mortgage payments, for his Oxfordshire home.
    For the following reasons.
    1/. He doesn’t “need” a mortgage. He allegedly has c£30 million already.
    2/. He bought the house after he was elected to the “safe Tory seat”, after he was “parachuted in”, after losing two elections in London, where he lives, and already has a house.
    3/. He gets free accommodation at No 10.
    4/. He also gets further free accommodation at “Chequers!
    So he currently has 4 homes, but still has the audacity to talk about “need”. What a cunt!

    Despite bleating for the last two years, that “We can’t borrow our way out of debt”.

    Their latest brainwave, is to give several hundred more billions to the banks, again..
    And they have announced today, a new scheme , to make the banks lend money more readily, and to be able to borrow money to do so, at preferentially low rates.
    Brilliant.
    That should do it.

    If he ever has a good idea, it will die from loneliness.

  14. Wail Censorshit

    Try posting a comment on the fucking Daily Wail and this is what the Nazi bastards send:

    “Your account has been permanently de- activated for going against the Community Guidelines.
    You are no longer allowed to post on the Daily Mail or other Associated Newspapers Ltd sites using this or any other user. Please be advised that should you post again we reserve the right to contact your ISP/employer and seek that action is taken against you.
    Regards,
    Senior Community Editor
    Daily Mail”

    WTF?!

  15. In China siltation is very bad :-( If you complain you can disappear :-( They will say you were transferred and promoted to a new position at a different facility :-(

  16. Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band

    When did England become a police state?
    English cops may be the only individuals left on earth that wouldn’t want to hear one more from Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney! Cunts! Pure fucking cunts! And fuck you Cameron you cunt!

  17. Eric Greenwood

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jul/15/welfare-work-firm-bankrupt?CMP=twt_gu claiming banks refused to lend it money to stay afloat because they considered the work programme to be too financially risky. House of cards in deed

    • The Chief Executive of the company involved, Eco Actif, stated in a letter to staff that the company’s “association with A4E had been a matter of great concern to potential investors”.

      An association with A4e was bad for Eco Actif’s financial health.

  18. I was in town this afternoon and noticed more homeless people sitting with paper cups looking for change than I’ve seen in a long time just in the one street.

    I think what the government needs to look at first and foremost is housing policy. There is absolutely no excuse for homelessness to exist in a country like the UK and I’m quite sure it could be eradicated several times over with the money that has been spent on the Olympics (the security costs alone are spiraling out of control) and the revenue that would be raised if Olympic sponsors weren’t getting tax breaks. Tax avoidance is what really needs tackling as well but I can’t believe that Cameron cunt had the audacity to criticise Jimmy Carr when so many of his cronies and party donors are at it as well.

    At the end of the day the country is still suffering from the quick buck “Me Society” that that Thatcher cunt created and it’s her chickens that are coming home to roost. That’s even without touching on her wholesale eradication of several entire industries.

    The elephant in the room though (at risk of sounding like a Marxist :-)) is that neoliberal economics and full employment don’t go together and they never will. We’re going to have to deal with the fact that there isn’t enough work to go around everyone of working age and the nominal demand for labour in the economy isn’t going to increase in the coming decades (we’ll be lucky if current levels can be sustained). I don’t know how that’s going to be done but gradually raising the retirement age is not going to help that’s for sure.

  19. Drastic Spastic!

    Yet again People miss the point….The very notion that any “government” whatever its Political “Colour” really cares is a sick joke! For as long as Multi- Nationals, and their “Shareholders” are allowed to influence, domestic and foreign policy to the extent they are then your “Vote” means N O T H I N G !

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