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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 July 2011

The Work Programme: is it only chasing people off benefits?

A job seeker, Coventry

I have been on Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for 12 months. I finished education last year and have found it near impossible to find a job.

The Work Programme is defined on the government website for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as "measures designed to help in the government's key aims of fighting poverty, supporting the most vulnerable and helping people break the cycle of benefit dependency."

I can tell you what it really means - those who are part of this programme are being pushed into working 30 hours a week to 'earn' their benefits or face losing them entirely.

The average job seeker claims around 200 a month. 30 hours a week on the minimum wage for an 18 year old (the earliest someone can sign on) would be 639.60 - so job seekers are expected to work for a third of what's supposed to be the legal minimum.

We have not in any way been told what these jobs will be or will include - just a vague "something that will help the community". We have no idea what the working conditions will be, what training will be provided or what skills it will give us.

The hours of this community work are entirely non-negotiable. I am taking part in courses and placements in Teaching Assistance. I would have to give this up in order to keep receiving benefits.


March for Jobs!

This year is the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow crusade when 200 unemployed men marched from Jarrow in South Tyneside to London. Youth Fight for Jobs is marching to demand decent jobs with decent wages for all. We want real training opportunities, not slave labour schemes. Join us to say that workers and young people won't pay for the bosses' crisis!

Merthyr march for jobs

Merthyr Tydfill to Cardiff 4-6 August

Jarrow march for jobs

Jarrow to London

5 October - 5 November

Get in touch to take part or help organise or raise money:

www.jarrowmarch11.com

youthfightforjobs@gmail.com

020 8558 7947

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 20 July 2011:


News International scandal

Force Cameron out!

Get rid of Cameron, Murdoch and all they represent


Socialist Party news and analysis

Capitalism stuck in a blind alley


Anti-cuts news and campaigning

'No cuts' budgets or 'parallel' budgets?

Legal Aid Bill - Access to justice is under attack

Immigration Advice closure shows need for industrial struggle

Stop Swansea coastguard closure

Southampton council workers' struggle continues despite imposition of new contracts

Labour takes axe to Sure Start in Liverpool


The NHS

Privatisation and cuts undermine the NHS

A day in the life of a student nurse: Overworked - but happy to help


Socialist Party workplace news

Bromley Unison reps resign in protest at union's disgraceful actions

South Yorkshire journalists start all-out strike

Strike solid at BBC Leeds office

Renationalise Bombardier to save jobs

London NSSN meeting - 'real debate' on preparing for coordinated action


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Defending state education - Brighton academy victory

TUSC: Building an electoral challenge to Con-Dem and Labour cuts

Tolpuddle says: 'step up the action'

The Work Programme: is it only chasing people off benefits?


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Massive metal workers' strike


Selling the Socialist

Throw away the Murdoch rags!


Socialist Party review

Music review - "This place is coming like a ghost town..."


 

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Related links:

Benefits:

triangleUniversal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

triangleFight for safety, staffing and services - Covid chaos for benefits claimants

trianglePCS union demands better deal for benefits claimants

triangleCoronavirus - a workers charter 2020

triangleNew BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

Jobs:

triangleCoordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB

triangleThe 'Lucas Plan'

triangleFight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

triangleEnergy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

Jarrow:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleYouth Fight Austerity

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