The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced on 16 November that more telephone work for benefit claims will be outsourced to Capita.
This includes new claims for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Income Support, plus general enquiries for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA).
This is not the first instance. JSA claims were handed to Capita in 2012, resulting in a failure to meet processing targets. The decision to outsource new ESA claims to Capita will be disastrous.
A huge proportion of claimants suffer mental health problems, so are more vulnerable. If Capita performs as well as it did with JSA this will have a severe impact on their wellbeing.
It is already beginning to affect the morale of DWP staff. Many workers fear losing their jobs, or the stress of a complete change to the role they have trained in.
The PCS union, which represents DWP staff, has consistently opposed privatisation. We campaign for all services to be brought back in-house.
The Socialist Party does too. We also fight for reversing all privatisation - run services for people, not profit. And ending sanctions, and reversing benefit cuts - for the right to a decent living, and support for those who need it
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