The Corporate Take Over of the Third Sector Begins

Iain Duncan Smith’s plans to use private sector poverty pimps to fix social problems is a long cherished business objective of the scandal rocked A4e and other welfare to work comnpanies.

Last week Iain Duncan Smith announced that new Payment by Results programmes will be established to address not just unemployment, but youth offending, low educational attainment and bizarrely, step-parent, single parent or other alternative family structures.

His latest crazy scheme will be based on the floundering Work Programme, under which private companies have been paid almost a billion pounds to fail to fix soaring long term unemployment.  So proud is Iain Duncan Smith of this unmitigated disaster that he now plans to export the model to other areas of social policy.

Welfare to work company A4e are best known for harassing unemployed and disabled people into attending sub-standard training or workfare.  The company however has had long held objectives to spread their rancid tentacles into all areas of social care.

In 2008 A4e attempted to launch a community website on which they sought to offer advice on all aspects of life from health to housing.  Originally only available to A4e inmates on government training schemes, the hope was that the site would become a hub for people to discuss and seek advice on a range of personal problems.

The website was soon abandoned when A4e realised that were it opened to public registration then it would fast develop into a forum for people to pour well deserved abuse onto the company.  In a telling sign of things to come however, much of the information on the site was concerned with highly personal topics such as health, relationships and even people’s sex lives.

Astonishingly A4e offered advice on impotence and unplanned pregnancy. People with mental health conditions were advised to contact A4e for help.  Perhaps most disturbingly A4e appeared to encourage cancer patients to seek out alternative health treatments.

Whilst much of this seemed like the kind of hippy-dippy bullshit that the company regularly espoused, this was an early, if bodged,  attempt to break into the social care market.

A4e, whose work already includes contracts with probation services and legal advice centres, now boast on their website of: “improving access to health and social case services and empowering disabled people through employment and advisory services”.

Increasingly charitable organisations who work with so called vulnerable people have been pushed into marketisation.  This means charities bidding for contracts, often against similar charities, to carry out a certain social purpose.  This could be housing street homeless people, providing services for drug users, running care homes or similar roles which would have once been the preserve of national and local government.

Iain Duncan Smith’s announcement last week pointed to plans to open up far more areas of social care services to the market than ever before.

When Blair brought the private sector into employment support services, companies like A4e and G4s soon muscled out the smaller community based job clubs and unemployed workers centres.  Larger charities were pushed into the role of sub-contractors, carrying out the dirty work for the money grabbing parasites who ran the sector.

Under Iain Duncan Smith’s Work Programme the role of charities has become almost indistinguishable from profit hungry welfare to work companies.  Charities such as Scope, Mencap, MIND, RNIB and many more have been only to happy to collude with brutal benefit sanctions and workfare.  With the take over of the Welfare to Work sector almost complete, companies like A4e are now looking for new ground in their drive to commodify and profit from the poor.

Charities only have themselves to blame for this erosion of their role in providing social care.  A united front declaring non co-operation with the government’s attempts to privatise welfare services could well have stopped welfare reform in it’s tracks.  Instead greedy charity bosses have paid themselves huge salaries by picking up lucrative welfare to work contracts with barely a thought for the needs of their service users.

The direction of travel is now clear.  A4e have already aggressively moved in on legal advice, resulting in the closure of Citizens Advice Centres.  Their ambitions do not end there.  Gormless charity bosses will only be able to look on in despair as vultures like A4e and Serco swoop in to take over relationship mediation, probation services, care homes, homelessness hostels and any other slice of the Third Sector that they can gobble up.

And some of us will say ‘we told you so’.  Not that it will matter anymore.

29 responses to “The Corporate Take Over of the Third Sector Begins

  1. dont forget g4s also runs some of these schemes. A4e wanted to set up their own bank. and a4e has links to the money advice service. just waiting for a4e to get into the funeral business

    • something survived...

      (Bart Simpson:)
      -You snuff ’em, we stuff ’em.
      -You kill ’em, we grill ’em.

      (Michael Moore film:)
      refers to ‘Dead Peasants Insurance’. People who are unable often to get medical insurance or life insurance, their employers take out life insurance policies (with companies the person might disagree with, with investments against their beliefs) without the person’s knowledge or consent (in USA).
      The policy is taken out on the person (employee), with the company (employer) named as the beneficiary. Normal exclusions like suicide and cancer are not included, so any cause of death gives a payout – to the company. The amounts are higher than a person’s family would get for a normal policy. The cause of death can even be at work, at a work related accident, or later from work related causes (asbestos, radiation, whatever).
      That is like those stupid murder mysteries where the murderer insures the life of their spouse then murders them to get the insurance money. So it actually is in the company’s interests for you to die. The payout is worth more than your labour. They can always get in a new worker and repeat the process. And what they call it, the official term, is ‘Dead Peasants Insurance’. The employee is the ‘dead peasant’, including while they are still alive. The family Michael Moore used as an example, the man died and the wife and family got nothing, not a cent. She then found out about the Dead Peasants Insurance policy on her dead husband with his employer, and the size of the payment to the company. She said she ‘could really have used’ the money.

      If A4E replace the CAB, where do you go to get legal advice to complain about A4E?

  2. I have done some work in the past around employment for people with mental health issues. When I looked at the plans around the Work Programme I thought that it would be the wrong organisations doing the wrong things. Sorry to say that it looks like I was totally right. Things will get worse. I can already see how working in these companies is creating some nasty bullies and there will be many possibly unforseen consequences for society as a whole, and for charities in particular.

    • United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U)

      We could do what we would do if there wasn’t a benefit system.

      Or government, Monarchy, Scientists, etc

      It’s an intelligent version of a game named Lemmings, brought to life.

      Try to be positive, stay focused, reply to mail from businesses quickly and in a unemotional business to business manner, be personal with real people & try not to get robbed by the 33.3% of bad people.

      Work towards a better outcome with like-minded people.

      If you’re refered to as a gang simply correct the error by saying you are socializing and interacting with other Beings. As you are entitled to. Law of life.

      Don’t promote crime or violence, although any Being (human or not) has the right to protect their life if they feel threatened.

      Let us not end up extinct like Dodo’s as we follow the lemmings over the cliff.

      Try to remember, the guys and girls who are leading the lemmins are playing the game with ‘control pads’.

      In reality the only person going over the edge is the poor sucker who trusts that the State will get them to a healthy old age, comfortable, like in a Hollywood movie.

  3. oh look emmas after more bonuses perhaps she didnt get enough the last time 8.6million now if thats not enough for anyone but like the mps who got their snouts in the trough she grunts just like them jeff3

  4. Remember, remember the fifth of November
    Gunpowder, treason and plot
    I see no reason why gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot 🙂

  5. Think I will set up a social enterprise help4me and get rich. You obviousy need a 4 in yer name to get a contract…

  6. There must be two guy fawkes operating on this blog because I did not contribute the guy fawkes nursery rhyme, nevertheless an apt posting given the state of this government and the date. IDS is being given too much airtime by the BBC to sell his propoganda to the nation. This Sunday he was prolific in his attack on the welfare state prompted by the shows present Andrew Marr, then he was given more airtime on the sunday politics show to tell employers they did not have to pay employers national insurance contributions if they did not want to, thus undermining the welfare state yet again, but winning points with those on low wages by promoting the living wage but only as a voluntary not statutory obligation for employers to pay.
    It is time all of those who are being discriminated against and penalised by the benefits system got all of their friends and family to discredit the BBC for it’s unbalanced reporting. Perhaps we should make them insecure and refuse to pay the tv licence en masse. When I was studying politics and economics I was on a focus group for the BBC, now all I do is phone up complaining to them about their tory bias, question time and all of their other political programmes never have representatives on who condemn the sanctioning of benefits of which there is no reason justifiable enough. to leave human beings destitute, the opposition parties may show concern to score points but in office are just as bad.

    All of this social concern highlighted in programmes such as panorama is only to promote job creation for those leaving university with psychology or counselling qualifications but in reality have little experience of life themselves to even begin to understand the underlying causes of addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling etc., other than theory, and while successive governments are condemning abuses, they are promoting the industries responsible for the abuse, starting with the credit sectors that have got a lot of people into debt they cannot afford and is funding these addictions causing a spiral of social problems for families.

    We have adopted middle class values at our peril – mothers out at work was never a good idea and those families with two high income earners have pushed the cost of living up for everyone else, with the low earners left with no choice but to follow suit just to keep their head above water and single people having to cover all increased costs alone.

    Charities should never have been allowed to replace statute in any are of social concern – it is a testament to governance that the poor, sick and elderly should be statutorily provided for and why the welfare state was founded.

  7. We Are All Truly Fucked Now!

    It’s the inception of the prison state overseen by Naziz like Herr Schmidt and his abusive private company cronies……fascism in full bloom: the ultimate expression of Capitalism.

  8. Overheard in Jobcentre

    And fuck Iain Duncan Smith. Fuck Cameron and that yellow fucking slime called Clegg. Fuck the lot of these cunts!!

  9. Any more info on A4e taking over CAB services? Like where and how many? it’s just so worrying, A4e don’t have a clue!

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