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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 June 2009

Another DWP minister resigns

JAMES PURNELL, government minister at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), resigned last week - one of an increasing number of ministerial resignations from Gordon Brown's disintegrating government. Katrine Williams, vice president of the PCS civil service trade union in the DWP Group (personal capacity), explains why Purnell won't be missed.

PCS members in the DWP will not be disappointed that James Purnell has resigned. Yvette Cooper coming over from Treasury is now the 20th minister we have had since Labour came to power in 1997.

Purnell has been involved in the MPs' expenses scandal with allegations that he avoided paying capital gains tax on the sale of a London flat after claiming expenses for getting tax advice.

The sleaze and double standards of this government, whilst most workers are worried about hanging on to their own home and job, is what has contributed to the Brown government's electoral meltdown.

But Purnell's main legacy to the department has been to steamroller through parliament the harshest ever welfare bill (see The Socialist 18/2/09). He even received praise from the Tories for the measures included in the bill, showing clearly that this government is trying to introduce Tory policies.

Purnell remained adamant, despite pressure from our union, in pursuing a policy to make far more claimants be actively available for work during what is the biggest recession within living memory.

The Welfare Reform Bill is filled with words like 'responsibility', 'obligations', 'compliance', 'something for something instead of Social Security'.

The main attacks in the Bill are:-

Our union will continue to mobilise and maximise the opposition against this unjust bill whoever happens to be our minister. We remain committed to fighting for improvements to the terms and conditions of our members. And we will continue to press for enough staff and offices to deal with the impact of the recession.

We want to deliver the best possible services to the public and we campaign for a fair and supportive welfare system.

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In The Socialist 10 June 2009:

Step up the fight for a new workers' party

A socialist MEP Joe Higgins elected in Ireland

'The best fighter that money can't buy'

STOP PRESS: BNP feel the anger

Youth Fight against Racism


Socialist Party election campaign analysis

No2EU: a step towards a workers' political voice


Socialist Party workplace news

Reinstate Rob Williams now! Support Linamar strikers

London Underground: Solidarity with strike over jobs and pay

Glasgow council street cleaners start workers' fightback

Bristol bins strike threat brings new conditions offer

Unison NEC elections bring gains for Socialist Party

Another DWP minister resigns

Engineering construction workers ballot: End 'race to the bottom'

Come to NSSN conference

News in brief


Socialist Party publication

The Masses Arise: The French revolution and today's struggles


International socialist news and analysis

European parliament elections 2009: Europe on the edge

General strike in Basque country

Brazil: "Liberty, Socialism and Revolution" is born


Youth fight for jobs

CWU conference backs Youth Fight for Jobs campaign

No to cuts at Kings

Liverpool Community College strike


 

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