Opinion Former Article

PCS condemns Tory welfare plans

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), condemned Conservative plans on welfare reform today warning that they risked taking the welfare state back to the Victorian era.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's PCS debate on public services with Rt Hon Francis Maude MP at the Conservative conference in Manchester, Mark Serwotka said: "Harking back to the Victorian era, these plans are all about punishing people and nothing about helping people. They will stigmatise some of the most vulnerable in society and plunge them into poverty. Added to that you have the Tories picking up where Labour left off with the wholesale privatisation of helping people back into work.

"Rather than seeing who can be toughest on people out of work, the government and the Conservatives need to talk about how they can create jobs and support those in most need. Going back to the Victorian era and dismantling the welfare state is not the answer. Both the government and the Conservatives need to drop their fixation with privatising the welfare state and recognise that time and time again the dedicated staff of Jobcentre plus outperform the private sector. The success of the New Deal has shown what the public sector can do; scrapping it and allowing the vagaries of the market to get people back into work is wrong."

For further information, interviews and comment please contact Alex Flynn PCS national press officer on 020 7801 2747 or 07833 978216.

PCS, the Public and Commercial Services Union is the union representing civil and public servants in central government. It has more than 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies. It also represents workers in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich.

Laura Cockram
Campaigns Officer
Public and Commercial Services Union
Tel: 020 7801 2820
Mobile: 07833 948028
Web: www.pcs.org.uk
PCS, 160 Falcon Rd, London SW11 2LN

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