In the Queen’s speech this morning power crazed Elizabeth Windsor announced that her Government – her fucking Government – would introduce a new mass workfare scheme for those under 21.
She also claimed that new measures would lead to full employment, but what she really means is that people will be forced to work for the pittance of benefits. Who’d have thought it? The Queen of fucking England demanding her subjects labour full time for barely enough money to even eat. Nothing changes, unless we make it change.
What she probably doesn’t know, although David Cameron does, is that workfare schemes are on the brink of collapse. Most decent charities don’t want to be involved with workfare anymore after realising the horrifying impact of benefit sanctions inflicted on those who don’t want to work for free. According to the latest Labour Market Statistics there were less people on unpaid work schemes in the latest recorded period than there were at the end of Labour’s administration five years ago. Community Work Placements – which comprise of six months forced work – have now been in place over a year yet the DWP has been too scared to release any statistics at all concerning how many people have actually been on the scheme, and crucially, got a job at the end of it.
Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) – the four week short sharp shock of forced work which people can be sent on from the first day of their claim – has been a dismal failure. So dismal that the DWP, who were due to release statistics on MWA today, decided to leave the table blank (pdf) in the part of the statistical release which would have told us how many people have started on the scheme in each of the latest six months.
No doubt the DWP will say this was all a terrible mistake, after all they are nothing if not incompetent. But it was a very convenient error, coming on the day the Government announced new workfare measures. Luckily we can actually work out the total number of people who started on MWA in the six months between August 2014 and February 2015 by looking at the previously release and comparing the total. It comes to 13,010, or 2,170 people a month, by far the lowest figures over a six month period so far. And now they claim they are going to find hundreds of thousands of new workfare positions for young people. They are living in a fucking dream world. The pressure on workfare exploiters must be kept up. But the fact they are so desperate to hide the truth about workfare shows that we are winning.
UPDATE (as spotted by @refuted): The DWP have now corrected the statistics and the figures are available. They confirm the collapse of MWA with just 1,470 starts on the scheme in December 2014, the lowest figure so far and down from over 4000 a month at the start of 2013.
Come to the Welfare Action Gathering this Saturday 30th May hosted by Boycott Workfare.
UK Uncut are also out on the streets this weekend, keep an eye on their website for full details.
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