24th January – Protest and Picnic against Benefit Cuts and Poverty Pimps

11am Monday 24th January 2011
at A4e Newcastle (meet at Manors Metro)

Called by Tyneside Claimants Union

Part of the National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/ notowelfarecuts(at)yahoo.co.uk

Everyone welcome, whether you are a benefit claimant yourself, or want to give your solidarity: please tell your friends.

Bring: banners and placards, music, drums and whistles, food to share, and your ideas, enthusiasm and solidarity.

We say
NO

  • TO CUTS TO WELFARE AND HOUSING BENEFITS
  • TO COMPULSORY WORK FOR BENEFITS
  • TO “THE WORK PROGRAMME”
  • TO BENEFITS SANCTIONS
  • TO CASUALISATION AND ATTACKS ON WORKERS’ RIGHTS
  • TO POVERTY PIMPS LIKE A4E AND WORKING LINKS

After a certain amount of time signing on, unemployed people are forced to attend private companies like A4e and Working Links as part of the “New Deal”. This is supposed to help the unemployed find work, but many unemployed people who have been forced to go to these companies complain of a total lack of any useful courses, training or facilities and denounce the disrespectful and bullying way these companies treat unemployed people. The ConDems are replacing “New Deal with “the Work Programme”, which will mean that more benefits claimants (including disabled people currently on ESA/Incapacity Benefit, and single parents with children as young as 5 (its now 7)) will be forced to attend these companies and more of us will be made to work for our benefits (i.e. for as little as £1.27 an hour).

Benefit Cuts and Poverty Pimps

The government wants to make massive cuts to the benefits system, for example forcing many disabled people off Employment Support Allowance/Incapacity Benefit, abolishing Education Maintenance Allowance and making 20% cuts to Disability Living Allowance. According to the Chartered Institute of Housing, ¾ million people across the UK will lose their homes as a result of the cuts to housing benefit alone. We can’t let them get away with this!

Emma Harrison, the owner of A4E, lives very well off benefits. She has a £40m fortune and a 100 acre country estate. Yet people forced to attend A4e in Newcastle and Gateshead complain that there aren’t enough computers or even pens and that there is a culture of disrespect and bullying in the company. Whilst millions of people face a spiral into poverty, debt, stress, and homelessness, the gravy train is being extended for poverty pimps like A4e and Working Links which seek to profit from the misery of others.

Don’t get fooled by divide and rule tactics

People who are unemployed for whatever reason, either through ill health, or the recession, or because they are caring for a child or disabled person, are not scroungers, but human beings with real needs for food, housing and health! Only 1 in 10 housing benefit claimants is unemployed – most have low paid jobs. Many people with jobs also rely on benefits tax credits, child benefit, and council tax benefit to make ends meet. Carers and single parents do the toughest – unpaid – jobs there are!

The “Work Programme” and the benefit cuts are not only an attack on the unemployed and other claimants, they are an attack on workers in jobs. Making people work for their benefits won’t reduce poverty or improve life chances. But it will allow employers to bypass the minimum wage. If the government get their way the current 4 week compulsory work placements will become much longer. We all have to organise to stop workfare and benefit cuts.

Let’s get together to take some real action to stop these injustices!

Come along to this demonstration, contact Tyneside Claimants Union.

Isolated we can be bullied but together we can turn the tables !

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3 Responses to “24th January – Protest and Picnic against Benefit Cuts and Poverty Pimps”

  1. National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts: UK Round Up « National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts Says:

    […] Claimants Union have called a Protest and Picnic Against Benefit Cuts and Poverty Pimps – 11am Monday 24 January at A4e Newcastle (meet at Manors […]

  2. Nick Says:

    I have just witnessed your protest outside the Newcastle Manors A4e building.
    I just wanted to give you a cheer; it brightened up my day. Mainly as I’m currently stuck inside the building on one of thier ‘courses’, for the record this course has us unsupervised in a computer room job searching, and has done for the last 3 days we’ve been here.
    I could do this far more effectively at home, and I wouldn’t feel like scum for doing it.

  3. Rebecca Pidgeon Says:

    Good riddance to A4E and Working Links and the other sham outfits. Hopefully, the Admin Staff within these pitiful agencies, who are less qualified, competent and experienced than Job Centre Plus Admin Staff (but who nonetheless called themselves a baloneous title of “Consultant”), will find training to work in (say) Call Centres.

    However, let us not naively condemn the Conservative Government for the sham…… they were, after all, introduced by the Labour Government under the idiocracy of Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.


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