Thursday, 31 January 2008

PCS slams new welfare plans

PCS reacted angrily last Wednesday to Government plans to adopt welfare reform plans laid out in the Freud report, warning that questions remained about whether there was the knowledge and capacity in the private and voluntary sectors to deliver.
Accusing the Government of privatisation via the back door the union called on the government to give the public sector the resources and flexibility to innovate in helping people back into work.
Pointing to the success of the public sector run Pathways to Work pilots, which helped 20,000 long-term unemployed back into work, the union maintained that the public sector had the skills, expertise and knowledge to fulfil the Government’s ambitions in getting people back into work.
The union also expressed fears that by introducing the profit motive contractors would cherry pick the easiest to get back into work and place people into unsustainable work.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We have serious doubts about whether there is the capacity in the private and voluntary sectors to deliver the Government’s proposals.
“The public sector has shown time and time again that it has the skills and expertise to out perform other sectors in getting people back into work. The people who have delivered the lowest unemployment in a generation and who have run the successful Pathways to Work pilots will feel let down and view these plans as privatisation by the back door.”