"James Purnell's green paper, No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility (pdf), proposes to abolish income support."
"By withdrawing benefit from parents and carers you also withdraw support from their children ... The government is already preparing to withdraw income support from lone parents whose youngest child reaches age seven. It is claimed there is sufficient childcare provision to enable these parents to work. But, in outlining the government's next steps on childcare, Gordon Brown has acknowledged that key pieces of the jigsaw may not be in place for some time."
"What we are seeing is an adoption of "workfare", a policy that Labour explicitly rejected in 1997. The government may say that this only applies to those who have been on jobseekers allowance for two years, but their proposals will mean the biggest group on such a scheme would be lone parents, resulting in a carbon copy of the appalling US menial labour schemes, that have failed women and their children in poverty. It was absolutely right that the TUC voted unanimously to oppose the proposals. The adoption of Tory slogans, such as "work shy Britain", still less Tory policies, offer no way forward in the fight against poverty."
28 September 2008
Mark Serwotka On Labour's "Workfare"
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union: