Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 August 2007

Welfare Green Paper

Making profit out of poverty

THE GOVERNMENT'S Green Paper - Work, Better Off; Next Steps to Full Employment - rolls back many rights and benefits that have formed the basis of Britain's welfare state for 65 years. For the long-term unemployed, or 'complicated cases' as Labour ministers label them, these counter-reforms will place their claims in the hands of unaccountable private companies.

Adam Dudley

People who claim Incapacity Benefit or Income Support will find themselves on mandatory, privately run, back-to-work schemes and by 2010 lone parents will be forced into work when their children reach seven years of age.

Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain's announcement that New Labour's welfare 'reforms' would include the use of private-sector organisations will surprise few people.

Piecemeal disintegration of the welfare system and the running down of key public services for privatisation have been the driving force behind New Labour's so-called "social streamlining programmes".

Since 1997 New Labour has implemented many privatisations - now the benefits system is for the treatment.

With 15,000 Jobcentre staff axed over the last two years, over 500 jobcentres and benefit offices closed and the threat of compulsory redundancies of Jobcentre staff looming, the government clearly plans to use the private sector to plug the gaps they created themselves. This will then be used to justify more cuts and more redundancies.

In May the Welfare Reform Bill was passed, giving the Secretary of State new powers to sell off key services to the private and voluntary sector. So the Jobcentreplus, Labour's one-stop-shop, will handle those 'closest to work' whilst the most vulnerable and 'complicated' will soon be in the hands of profit-driven organisations.

Payments to these organisations will be target-based. The government aims to force 300,000 lone parents back into work along with a million over-50s and a million currently claiming Incapacity Benefit.

So these agencies will have major fiscal incentives to force some of society's most vulnerable people into unstable, low-paid work or simply cancel their benefits.

Last December's Welfare Reform Executive Summary does not try to hide the motive for these attacks. On incentives for private business, it reads: "The scale of the potential market is large," and "this will be an annual multi-billion market. Such scale would attract commitment from a wide range of private service providers".

Whoever bids for the service, responsibilities will include cancelling people's benefits if they fail to follow the very strict guidelines which the government has outlined. Claimants will be required to attend regular interviews to discuss their progress.

They will be appointed a private sector 'adviser', who will assist claimants to draw up an action plan to help them back into work. If a claimant fails to attend an interview, their 'adviser' decides whether they had good cause for their failure. Their benefit could be cut as a result.

These advisers' decisions to cut claimants' benefits will, just like current DWP policy, be subject to revision and appeal. However, the same company that decided to cut the benefits will apparently carry out all appeals and revisions!

These measures will fundamentally alter the way the welfare system serves the unemployed. Big business will have free rein to turn poverty and alienation into profitable business and the unemployed will be forced into casual work on low pay.

The Green Paper is sketchy on how and when these new measures will become reality and the government will try to play down this attack's repercussions.

But, for millions of unemployed and disabled workers of all ages, it spells the beginning of a process which will end with the disintegration of the benefits system and the removal of the safety nets that have long protected those most at risk from exploitation. Private hands will slowly throttle claimants. But at least the figures will look better!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 9 August 2007:

Save our NHS: Stop fat cat robbery

"How many more will suffer?"

Occupation at Kendal ward

Blood Service restructuring chaos

Solidarity with health worker

Strike victory

Glasgow Social Care Workers win clear victory

Care workers stand firm (report 9/08/07)

Postal dispute

Solidarity with postal workers

Postal action round-up

Committee for a Workers' International

Exchanging socialist ideas worldwide

Socialist Party events

Come to the summer camp

Environment and socialism

Floods: Profits rise, workers pay

The State

Jean Charles de Menezes: Security forces not held to account

Workplace news

Railworkers strike for jobs and safety

Local government pay dispute - No to 2%!

Health and Safety : Bosses get away with murder

Tales from the council chambers

Campaigners force Labour councillors to back off

Welfare state

Welfare Green Paper: Making profit out of poverty


Home   |   The Socialist 9 August 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleProfits up Wages down

triangleOxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity

triangleMajority of kids poor in some areas

triangleThem & Us

triangleWidening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay


triangleMay's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

triangleEqual sick pay rights for staff at Charlton Park Academy

triangleUSA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Why you have to be Red to be Green


triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: The fight for the welfare state

triangleChild poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now

triangleUniversal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor


triangleUniversal credit: set up to fail

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy


triangleBig political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed


triangleThousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes


triangleMy struggle for an income I can live on

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Anti-racism demo 17th March 2018 - pics


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018