PCS and Unite Community host London event to support those adminstering benefits

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Community, PCS, Unite, Austerity

Job centre benefitsUnions on Saturday are holding a conference to challenge the myths around welfare.

The Social Security Summit, jointly hosted by PCS and Unite Community, will bring together those who administer benefits to mutually support one another against the austerity agenda. It will be addressed by the general secretaries of both unions.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey will say: “This government sneaked its way into power by refusing to tell the electorate in May that the true nature of its underlying plan was savage cuts to the welfare system.

“We know that ministers are mounting a twin-pronged attack on the financial support that people in work receive and swingeing cuts to those out of work. The strain on frontline benefit workers, who have to deal with desperate people every day, is appalling.

“That is why we are bringing these two communities together. It is vital that those who need benefits and those who understand that this dreadful situation is not their creation, but manufactured in Number 11 by chancellor George Osborne.”

A spokesperson from PCS said: “Cutting tax credits would have left millions of families struggling to make ends meet and seen low-income workers losing up to £1,300 a year. Up to 40% of staff at the DWP claim tax credits because their employer doesn’t pay them enough to live.

“The chancellor has now been forced to reassess his plans but remains committed to swingeing welfare cuts. This conference will challenge the myths around welfare and aim to build a coalition to fight for our safety net.”

The workshops will cover topics including:

* building a broad-based coalition with charities, religious bodies, food banks, and NGOs

* using the media to get out the real stories about welfare budget cuts

* engaging with women, the disabled, young people and BME communities disproportionately hit by the welfare axe

* lobbying politicians to build support to stop the cuts

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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