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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 November 2004

Understaffed, Stressed And Under Threat

I WORK on an understaffed, stressed, Income Support processing section in Cardiff. Under the cuts plans there will be no benefit processors in the capital city of Wales.

Katrine Williams, PCS Wales DWP secretary

JobCentre Plus senior management's vision of the future will decimate benefit processing. Members will have to work from large impersonal processing factories and call centres with even fewer staff doing the job.

You cannot get more frontline than processing benefits - providing the support and advice to the most vulnerable in society. The public need to be able to access this support from experienced staff based in the local communities.

The Tories tried to introduce a similar system in 1993 with plans to close 53 benefit offices in Wales and setting up processing factories. Now under a New Labour government 68 offices in Wales are due to close by 2006 with the cuts and merger of JobCentres and benefit offices.

But we defeated the Tories' plans because of massive opposition from the public, trade unionists and elected representatives. We need to do this again to stop the welfare state being destroyed.

5 November will show the massive support we have in the union and from the public.

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

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In The Socialist 6 November 2004:

PCS Striking To Save Jobs And Services

For A One-Day Public-Sector Strike

"Why I Am On Strike"

Understaffed, Stressed And Under Threat

They Can't Bury Our Voices


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Related links:

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triangleDWP reps demand action from PCS leadership

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triangleTV: 'Death of Two Black Men: Police in the Spotlight'

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Benefits:

triangleWest Sussex care campaigners' victory

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