Anti workfare demonstrators blockade Salvation Army shop in Edinburgh

Demonstrators opposing workfare and sanctions blockaded a large Salvation Army charity shop in central Edinburgh on 7th December.  The approximately 40 protestors included some unemployed people who had themselves been press-ganged to work for nothing in Salvation Army charity shops.

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Poundland case: government defeated again over back-to-work schemes

The government’s “back to work” schemes, which were challenged by a graduate who was made to work for free at Poundland and an HGV driver made to clean furniture, were legally flawed, the UK’s highest court has ruled. The supreme court ruled against the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), which was attempting to overturn an earlier verdict by the court of appeal.                                                                                                            Click here to read full article from the Guardian.

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty Meeting

7pm Mon 30th September 2013                                              Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, 17 West Montgomery Place, EH7 5HA.

The coming ECAP monthly meeting comes at a very important time. In the last few months the situation for claimants on JSA and in the WRAG group of ESA has dramatically worsened, claimants’ treatment in the job centres is becoming increasingly brutal. Continue reading


Gather 10am onwards at Leith Job Centre, 199 Commercial Street, EH6 6QP
Part of the Boycott Workfare Week of Action against Workfare

The Department For Workfare and Punishment (DWP) have set up a ‘Hit Squad’ in Leith Jobcentre to target Work Programme returners and harass them. A new manager at Leith Jobcentre has told staff that 30% of claimants are not meeting the conditions for receiving benefits – the clear implication is that these claimants should be sanctioned.  In reality this is a return to the supposedly outlawed practice of setting sanctions targets, and is totally unfair and unjust. Continue reading

Number of Scots reduced to poverty after having their benefits taken away on the rise

A rising numbers of Scots are being pushed deeper into poverty by having their benefits stopped. More than 200 people had their jobseeker’s allowance suspended every working day this time last year – plunging struggling Scots into an instant financial crisis. Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith rapped by watchdog for misusing benefits cap statistic

The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has been criticised by the UK’s statistics watchdog for misusing figures to promote the effectiveness of the coalition’s benefits cap on getting people into work.

In a press release issued by the Department of Work and Pensions last month alongside ‘ad hoc’ statistics, Duncan Smith was quoted as saying ‘already we’ve seen 8,000 people who would have been affected by the cap move into jobs. This clearly demonstrates that the cap is having the desired impact’.

However, in an open letter sent on Thursday, Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said this claim was ‘unsupported by the official statistics published by the department’. Continue reading

May Day protestors target Edinburgh workfare exploiters

May Day in Edinburgh saw anti workfare demonstrators touring companies and        charities using unpaid forced labour.  Starting with an excursion into the
giant Homebase at St Leonards the protestors from Edinburgh Coalition
Against Poverty
went on to visit no fewer than 7 exploiting employers.

At Homebase demonstrators roamed the store putting up stickers – THIS
EMPLOYER USES FORCED UNPAID LABOUR.   Special leaflets were given to
customers and workers detailing the large-scale use of workfare at the
Haringey Homebase where 21 workfare conscripts are working for nothing. Continue reading

Ian Duncan Smith claims he could surive on £53 per week – Let him prove it!

On Monday’s Today Programme David Bennett, a market trader, said that after his housing benefit had been cut, he lives on £53 per week. The next interviewee was Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who was defending the changes. The interviewer then asked him if he could live on this amount. He replied: “If I had to, I would.”

This petition calls on Iain Duncan Smith to live on this budget for at least one year Continue reading

Anti-Cuts Campaigners Heckle Iain Duncan Smith in Edinburgh

Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, was called a “ratbag” as he was heckled by anti-cuts protesters who gatecrashed a speech in Edinburgh on Wednesday. Smith was about to deliver a speech on pensions reform when North Edinburgh Fights Back campaigner Willie Black began haranguing the MP, calling him a “parasite” and a “ratbag” for pursuing social security cuts that would leave “millions” of people homeless.

Click here to read the full article from the Guardian or here to see the video from BBC’s Reporting Scotland.

Edinburgh workfare exploiters blockaded

From Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty;

Anti workfare demonstrators shut down British Heart Foundation and Salvation Army shops in Leith on Saturday 23rd March. The actions, part of the Britain-wide Week of Action against the Government’s compulsory work-for-your-benefits schemes, targeted two charities who have persisted in exploiting the unemployed, sick and disabled through workfare. Continue reading