DWP forced to reveal firms using benefit claimants for unpaid work after 4-year legal fight

[Image: Getty.]

[Image: Getty.]

The cost of this legal battle is worth discovering – although we’ll probably have to launch Freedom of Information requests at the DWP and the ICO to find out.

In the meantime, here’s the (very long) list of companies that took advantage of taxpayer-funded workers courtesy of the DWP. Feel free to use the information in whatever way you see fit.

1. African Childrens Fund

2. Abacus Children’s Wear


4. Ability

5. Ace of Clubs Charity Shop

6. Acorns

7. Action for Disability

8. Action Housing

9. Active Community Team

10. Advocacy Support

11. Afro Caribbean Centre

12. Age Concern

13. Age UK

14. Agnew Community Centre

15. Air Ambulance

16. Aire Valley Recycling Ltd

17. Airedale Computers,

18. Al-Khair Foundation

19. All Aboard

20. Allied Healthcare

21. Almadene Care Home

22. AMF Torquay Bowling Alley

23. Amicus Horizon Housing Association

24. Animal Krackers

25. ARAS German Shepherd Inn

26. ARC

27. Archer Project

28. Arthritis Research UK

29. Arthur Rank

30. Arts Factory

31. ASAN

32. Asda

33. Asha Charity Shop

34. Ashgate Hospice

35. Aspire Community Enterprise Ltd

36. Auchinleck Talbot F.C.

37. Autism Plus

38. Aylestone Park Boys Football Club

39. Babygear

40. Back2Earth

41. Bangladesh People

42. Bangladeshi ass sangag centre

43. Barnardos

44. Basic Life Charity

45. B’Dwe

46. Beaumaris Hostel

47. Bedfordshire Education Academy

48. Belgrave Hall Museum

49. Bernicia Group (Social housing provider)

50. BHF

51. Blaby & Whetstone Boys Club

52. Blue Cross

53. Bluebell Wood

54. Bookers

55. Boots

56. Botanical Gardens

57. Bottle Rescue Aireworth Mill

58. BR Environmental

59. Bradford Autism Centre

60. Bradford Community repaint

61. Breaking Free

62. Brian Jackson House

63. Briardale Community Centre

64. Bright House

65. Brighton and hove wood recycling

66. Britannia College

67. British Heart Foundation

68. British Red Cross

69. British Waterways

70. Brockhurst Community Centre

71. Bryncynon Strategy

72. Bryncynon Strategy

73. Butterwick Hospice

74. Cancer Research

75. Cancer Uk

76. Capability Scotland

77. Care & Repair

78. Carers Centre

79. Caribbean Centre

80. Caribbean Restaurant (Streatham)

81. Carlisle Park

82. Carr Vale Allotments

83. Cash Convertors

84. Castle Gresley Community Centre

85. Cat Haven

86. Cats Protection League

87. Cauwood day services

88. CCA Furniture Outlet

89. Cerebal Palsey Care

90. Changing Lives in Clevedon

91. chapletown youth community centre

92. Chesterfield FC Community Trust

93. Chestnut Tree House Shop

94. Children in Distress

95. Children Scrapstore Reuse Centre

96. Children Trust

97. Childrens Society

98. Chopsticks North Yorkshire

99. Circulate

100. Citizen Advice Bureau

101. Claire House

102. Clic Sargent

103. Comfort Kids

104. Community Association – Trefechan

105. Community Re-Paint

106. Community Resource Centre

107. Community Voice

108. Complete Professional Care

109. Compton Hospice

110. Congburn Nurseries

111. Cooke Computers

112. Cooke E – Learning Foundation

113. Co-op

114. Corby Boating Lake

115. Cornerstone

116. Cornwall Hospice Care

117. County Durham Furniture Help Scheme

118. Croydon animal samaritans

119. CSV Media

120. Cusworth Hall

121. CVS Furniture

122. Dan’s Den Colwyn Bay

123. Dapp UK

124. DC Cleaning

125. Deans

126. Debra

127. Demzela

128. Derbyshire Timber Scheme

129. DHL

130. Dial Intake

131. Didcot Railyway Museum

132. Disabled Childrens Services

133. Discovery Community Cafe

134. Dogs Trust Glasgow

135. Dogsthorpe Recycling Centre

136. Doncaster College

137. Doncaster Community Centre

138. Dorothy House Hospice

139. Dorset Reclaim

140. Dovehouse Hospice Shop

141. Dragon Bands

142. Durham Wildlife Trust

143. E Waste Solutions

144. Earl Mountbatten Hospice

145. East Anglia Childrens Hospice Shop

146. East Cleveland Wildlife Trust

147. East Durham Partnership

148. East Midlands Islamic Relief Project

149. East West Community Project

150. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

151. eco Innovation Centre

152. Elleanor Lion Hospice

153. ELVON

154. Encephalitis society

155. English Landscapes

156. Enhanced Care Training

157. Enterprise UK

158. Environmental Resource Centre

159. Essex County Council

160. Extra care Charitable Trust

161. Fable

162. Family Support

163. Fara

164. Fare share Malmo Food Park

165. Featherstone Rovers

166. Fenland District Council

167. First Fruits

168. FN! Eastbourne

169. Foal Farm

170. Food Cycle

171. Fops Shop

172. forget me not childrens hospice

173. Foundation for Paediatric Osteopathy

174. Fountain Abbey

175. Fox Rush Farm

176. FRADE

177. Frame


179. Fresh water christian charity

180. Friends of St Nicholas Fields

181. Furnish

182. Furniture for You

183. Furniture Project

184. FurnitureLink

185. Gateway funiture

186. Genesis Trust

187. George Thomas Hospice – Barry

188. Geranium Shop For The Blind

189. Glasgow Furniture Initative

190. Glen Street Play Provision

191. Goodwin Development Trust

192. Govanhill Baths Community Trust

193. Greenacres Animal Rescue Shop

194. Greenfingers

195. Greenscape

196. Greenstreams Huddersfield/ environmental alliance

197. Grimsby District Health care charity

198. Ground Work

199. Hadston House

200. Happy Staffie

201. Harlington Hospice

202. Hart Wildlife Rescue

203. Hartlepool Council

204. Hartlepool Hospice

205. Hartlepool Prop (Mental Health)

206. Hartlepool Trust Opening Doors

207. Hastings & Bexhill Wood Recycling Project

208. Havens Childrens Hospice Shop

209. Havering Country Park

210. headway

211. Healthy Living Centre

212. Hebburn Community Centre

213. Help the Aged

214. helping hands

215. High Beech Care Home

216. High Wycombe Central Aid

217. Hillam Nurseries

218. Hinsley Hall Headingley

219. Hobbit Hotel

220. Holmescarr Community Centre

221. Home Start

222. Homemakers

223. Hope central

224. Hospice of hope

225. Hounslow Community Transport Furniture Project

226. Hull Animal Welfare Trust Hull

227. Humanity at Heart

228. I Trust

229. Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation (IRMO)

230. Intraining Employers

231. Ipswich Furniture Project

232. Iranian Association

233. Islamic Relief

234. Jacabs Well Care Center

235. Jesus Army Centre

236. JHP

237. Julian House Charity Shop

238. K.T. Performing Arts

239. Kagyu Samye Dzong London

240. Keech Hospice Care Shop

241. Keighley & District Disabled

242. Kier Services – Corby

243. Kilbryde Hospice

244. Killie Can Cycle

245. Kingston Community Furniture Project

246. Kiveton Park & Wales Community Development Trust

247. LAMH

248. Leeds & Moortown Furniture Store

249. Leicester City Council

250. Leicester Riders

251. Leicester Shopmobility

252. Leicestershire Aids Support Services

253. Leicestershire Cares

254. Lifework

255. Lighthouse

256. Linacre Reservoir

257. London Borough of Havering

258. London College of Engineering & Management Woolwich

259. Longley Organised Community Association

260. Lyme Trust

261. Lynemouth Resource Centre

262. Mackworth Comm. Charity Shop

263. Making a Difference

264. Marie Curie

265. Mark2 (marc)

266. Martin House Hospice

267. Mary Stevens Hospice

268. Matalan

269. Matchbox

270. Matthew25 Mission

271. Mayflower Sanctuary

272. MDJ Lightbrothers

273. Meadow Well Connected

274. MEC

275. Mental Health Support

276. Midland Railway Trust

277. MIND

278. Miners Welfare community centre

279. Mistley Place Park

280. Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal Regeneration Partnership Scheme

281. Moore Cleaning

282. Morrisons

283. Muslim Aid

284. Myton Hospice

285. Nandos

286. Naomi Hospice

287. National Railway Museum

288. National Trust

289. NDDT

290. Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

291. Necessary Furniture

292. Neighbourhood funiture

293. Neterlands Dog Rescue

294. New Life Church

295. Newham Volenteers Group

296. Newport City Council

297. Nightingale House

298. NOAH enterprise

299. North East Lincs Motor Project

300. North London Hospice Shop

301. North Ormesby Community Shop

302. Northumberland County Council

303. Norwood

304. Old Nick Theatre

305. One 0 One

306. Open Secret

307. Overgate Hospice

308. Oxfam

309. Papworth Trust

310. Partner Shop

311. Paul Sartori Warehouse

312. Paws Animal Welfare Shop

313. PDSA

314. Pegswood Community Centre

315. Pennywell Community Association

316. Peterborough Streets

317. Pheonix Community Furniture

318. Pilgrim Hospice

319. Placement Furniture Project

320. Platform 51 Doncaster Womens Centre

321. Playworks

322. Plymouth Food Bank

323. Plymouth Play Association

324. Plymouth Volunteer Centre

325. Pound stretcher

326. POW Shop

327. Powys Animal Welfare Shop

328. PPE Paving

329. Preen Community Interest Company

330. Primrose


332. Prince of Wales Sherburn in elmet

333. Princess Trust

334. Queen Elizabeth Foundation

335. Queens Walk Community

336. Queensland Multi-Media Arts Centre

337. Rainbow Centre

338. Rainbows End Burngreave

339. Real Time Music

340. Recycling unlimited

341. Red Cross

342. Refurnish

343. Regenerate Community Enterprise

344. Remploy

345. Restore

346. Rhyl Adventure Playground Association

347. Right Time Foundation

348. RNID

349. Rochford Council

350. Rosalie Ryrie Foundation

351. Rosliston Foresty

352. Royal Society for Blind.

353. Royal Wotton Bassett Town Council

354. RSPB

355. RSPCA

356. Rudenotto

357. Rudyard Lake

358. S & S Services

359. Saffcare

360. Sainsburys

361. Salvation Army

362. Santosh Community Centre

363. Sara

364. Save the children

365. Savera Resource Centre

366. Scallywags

367. Scarborough Council

368. SCD Fabrications

369. School of English Studies

370. Scope

371. Scottish Cancer Support

372. Scottish International Relief

373. Scunthorpe Central Community Centre

374. Seagull Recycling

375. Seahouses Development Trust

376. Second Chance

377. Second Opportunities

378. Sedgemoor Furniture Store

379. Sense

380. Sesku Acadamy Centre

381. Shaw Trust

382. Sheffield Reclamation Ltd – Reclaim

383. Shelter

384. Shooting Stars

385. Shopmobility & Community Transport – Access

386. Slough Furniture Project

387. Smythe

388. Sneyd Green

389. Somali Community Parents Association

390. Somerfields

391. Somerset Wood Re-Cycling

392. South Ayrshire Council

393. South Bucks Hospice Warehouse

394. South Wales Boarders Museum

395. Southend United Football Club

396. Spaghetti House

397. Spitafields Crypt Trust

398. Splash fit

399. St Barnabas

400. St Catherines Hospice Trading

401. St Chads Community Centre

402. St Clare’s Hospice

403. St Davids Foundation

404. St Elizabeth Hospice Charity Shop

405. St Francis Hospice Shops Ltd

406. St Gemma’s Hospice

407. St Georges Crypt

408. St Giles

409. St Helens House

410. St Hughs Community Centre

411. St Lukes Hospice

412. St Margarets Hospice Scotland

413. St Oswald’s Hospice

414. St Peters Church

415. St Peters Hospice

416. St Raphaels hospice

417. St Vincents

418. St. Catherines Hospice

419. St.Theresa’s Charity Shop

420. Stages Café

421. Stannah Stair Lifts

422. Stef’s Farm (Education Farm)

423. Step Forward

424. Stocking Farm Healthy Living Centre ( Sure Start)

425. Stockton Council

426. Stone Pillow


428. Strood Community Project

429. Strut Lincoln

430. Sudbury Town Council

431. Sue Ryder

432. Sunderland Community Furniture

433. Sunderland North Community Business Centre

434. Superdrug

435. Swindon 105.5

436. Sycamore Lodge

437. sydney bridge furniture shop

438. Sypha

439. T&M Kiddy’s Kingdom

440. Tara Handicrafts

441. Teamwork

442. Teesside Hospice

443. Tendring Furniture Scheme

444. Tendring Reuse & Employment Enterprise

445. Tenovus

446. Tesco

447. Thames Hospicecare

448. Thames Valley Hospice

449. Thanet District Council

450. The Ark Shop

451. The Art Organisation

452. The Charity Shop

453. The Childrens Society

454. The Childrens trust

455. The Crossing

456. The Good Neighbour Project

457. The Greenhouse

458. The Harrow Club

459. The Hinge Centre Ltd

460. The Isabella Community Centre

461. The Island Partnership

462. The Kiln Cafe

463. The learning community

464. The Linskill Centre

465. The Listening Company

466. The Octagon Centre Hull

467. The Old Manor House Riding Stables

468. The Princess Alice Hospice

469. The Range

470. The Reuse Centre

471. The Rising Sun Art Centre

472. The Rock Foundation Ice House

473. The Shores Centre

474. The Spurriergate Centre

475. The Undercliffe cemetary charity

476. The Vine Project

477. The Welcoming Project

478. The Woodworks (Genesis Trust)

479. Think 3E,

480. Thirsk Clock

481. Thurrock Council

482. Thurrock Reuse Partnership (TRUP)

483. TLC

484. TooGoodtoWaste

485. Top Draw

486. Traid

487. Trinity Furniture Store

488. Troed Y Rhiw Day Project

489. True Volunteer Foundation

490. Tukes

491. Twice as Nice Furniture Project

492. Twirls and Curls

493. Ty Hafan

494. Tylorstown Communities First

495. United Churches Healing Ministry

496. United Play Day Centre

497. Unity in the Community

498. UNMAH

499. Untapped Resource

500. Urban Recycling

501. Vale of Aylesbury Vineyard Church Project

502. Vista Blind

503. Walpole Water Gardens

504. Walsall Hospice

505. Wandsworth Oasis trading Company Limited

506. Wat Tyler Centre

507. WEC

508. Weldmar

509. Well Cafe

510. Wellgate Community Farm

511. Wellingborough District Hindu Centre

512. Western Mill Cemetary

513. WH Smith

514. Wheelbase

515. Whitby Council

516. Wildlife Trust

517. Wilkinsons

518. Willen Care Furniture Shop

519. Willington Community Resource Centre

520. Windhill Furniture Store Shipley

521. Woking Community Furniture Project

522. Womens Aid

523. Womens Centre

524. Woodlands Camp

525. Worsbrough Mill & County Park

526. Xgames

527. YMCA

528. York Archaeological Trust

529. York Bike Rescue

530. York Carers centre

531. Yorkshire Trust

532. Yozz Yard

533. Zest

534. Zues Gym

The Tory government has been forced to reveal a vast list of firms that hoovered up free labour from benefit claimants after spending four years trying to keep it a secret.

Poundstretcher, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons are among more than 500 companies, charities and councils named as having used Mandatory Work Activity.

Others on the list from 2011 included payday loans firm Cash Converters, chicken diner Nando’s, WH Smith, Superdrug and DHL.

More than 100,000 jobseekers were put on the hated ‘workfare’ scheme, which forced them to work 30-hour weeks unpaid for a month each or have their benefits docked.

Yet the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) mounted an astonishing and costly legal battle to keep the firms’ names a secret.

Officials claimed revealing those involved would hurt their “commercial interests” because protesters would boycott them.

The DWP stood its ground for nearly four years despite being overruled by the Information Commissioner (ICO) watchdog in August 2012.

The saga finally ended at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday – where a trio of top judges threw out the DWP’s argument by a 2-1 vote.

Campaigners and Labour condemned the vast cost of the cover-up – in which taxpayers had to fund lawyers for both the DWP and ICO.

Source: DWP forced to reveal vast list of firms using benefit claimants for unpaid work after 4-year legal fight – Mirror Online


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23 thoughts on “DWP forced to reveal firms using benefit claimants for unpaid work after 4-year legal fight

  1. Brian

    I’m astonished at some of the names on this list. I will immediately withdraw both contributory support and patronage from those I have previously supported. 17No.

  2. enigma

    Frank Zola left an annotation (29 July 2016)

    Disclosure of info for FOI requests relates only to what existed at the time of the FOI request being lodged, for the list above that was 25 January 2012. Or as the DWP states “PROVIDERS FOR MWA DURING THE REQUESTED PERIOD”

    A long list only it’s just part of a much much longer list.

  3. Melanie

    There are a few charities that I no longer support after today. If they needed staff they should pay for staff. Appalling ?

    1. enigma

      It’s why many of us can not get the jobs we apply for.

      “Now that the DWP has at last complied with the law and released the information that was requested in 2012, we should be able to get further details about where workfare it is taking place today.

      “We encourage everyone who wants to see an end to workfare and punitive welfare policies to use and share this information, and to work together to press all the organisations involved in workfare to pull out immediately, as so many already have. ”

      A spokesperson for Tesco – the only organisation out of more than a dozen on the list The Independent tried to contact that have actually provided a comment – said: “Prior to deciding the scheme wasn’t right for us, we had offered to pay those who were doing placements with us.- “As a business we remain committed to providing employment opportunities for the long-term unemployed.”


      1. Brian

        The damage to these organisations is done, nothing they now say can repair that. They did not risk asses this workfare because something for nothing impresses their shareholders, so now they can wait for their FST results and consider their folly.

  4. Maggie Beigel

    If these jobs need filling, which in many cases they do, why in all of hell are they not (at least) being filled by, at least, part-time, fully-paid staff?

    Drives me bats, specifically thinking of the cleaner in (one of) the Pound shops who was made redundant and then went to the very same store, doing the very same job, but only for her benefits.

    Workhouses, much?

  5. mohandeer

    That “charities” could take advantage of desperate people in such a way is disgusting.
    I have supported charities with monthly d/D for many years. I also give to various other charities who are shaking collection boxes. Not any more, I will remember those I have no more respect for.
    Until they acknowledge their part in the government’s cheap labour scam and make a full unreserved apology they will never see another penny from me.
    Sue Ryder has a notice in their shops “Stealing is an offence, stealing from a charity is offensive” – what a shame they didn’t apply their own words to themselves, as in robbing people of their entitlement by taking advantage of their misfortune is offensive.
    I am not averse to able bodied jobless being asked to earn the equivalent of their JSA by working for it. At 10 hours a week on £7.20, they have earned their JSA. At 20 hours a week, they have also paid their Housing Benefit, owing nobody anything. At 30 hours a week the companies and charities in the list have treated these desperate people as 2nd class citizens and p****d on them from a great height.
    May they reap what they have sown.

  6. Henrietta Sandwich

    Christ, it looks like it would be quicker to make a list of who hasn’t used workfare.

  7. Michael Broadhurst

    disgusting,especially some of the big names with millions,nay billions in turnover,and charities i shall no longer support.
    it would be interesting to know how much the DWP operation over all has cost the taxpayer,in ALL court cases,failed computer systems,the escalating cost of rolling out universal credit,the cost of using firms like MAXIMUS and CAPITA to knock people off benefits which are rightfully theirs,by paying these people excessive bonus’s to do so.the fake doctors employed to decide who can have benefits or not,when one’s GP should have the final say.the whole DWP wants scrapping as not fit for purpose.
    also more disgusting is the fact that taxpayers money can be used in this way.there should be some sort of mechanism in Parliament to prevent this abuse of taxpayers money since 2010.
    i wouldn’t mind betting if all the DWP’s costs in everything from 2010 was added up it would have been billions cheaper to have paid out all the benefits they tried to stop.
    there should be a national scandal over this,and the organisations that used workfare,should be forced to pay the people they used, wages for the time they were “employed” there.
    cant anything be done Mike !!

  8. Dez

    Yes this was a total disgrace and once again in some areas done in the most under handed covert way. Maybe some of those involved might have liked the idea of contributing their time to some of these charities….if they were given a choice. Some of the DWP task foces did not like working with offenders who were carrying out the same community work as part of their punishment it made them feel like they were being viewed as offenders rather than persons down of their luck and out of work.. Many lost out financially as their travel expenses were not fully or properly reimbursed and they also sufferred having their benefits stopped for very minor issues whilst on these free duties. Even the Churches were using free labour with unemployed labour gangs in this area being deployed clearing up their church yards many without proper safety equipment and training……maybe they were working for third party gang masters utilising this source of free labour It is no wonder the DWP were reluctant to reveal their deeds because it goes deeper than just cheap labour. It smacks of the labour camps used by the Germans during the war for assisting commercial interests. Would be interesting to find out how many actual jobs were created using this free labour method. Another very dirty and dark Con trick on innocent victims…….so what’s new?

  9. Justin Greenwood

    some of the companies i am not at all surprised about,in fact i did expect more, some of the charities in am not surprised about, however charities seem to forget one thing, they rely on volunteers and donations and if they entered into this scheme to get extra funding for there charity then they need to be honest amongst there volunteers, retrospectively they also have to show that if they entered into this , they employed people after a certain period, for the business on this list, welcome to my blacklist of companies that i will not do business with, as for the charities, well i shall have to look at this from a supporting point of view and have a detailed look, however i will say that if you did now is the time to say so and to say how many you gainfully employed or can show that you contributed to making a difference in there live, other than that if i have supported you in the past i shall think twice in the future of your on this list

  10. NMac

    I will certainly be boycotting the names I have supported. May I print off the list and send it to my family & freiends as I know they will do the same?

  11. John

    The more we learn about charities, the more we realise they are either scams or extensions of the corporate state. These dodgy schemes should all be scrapped and everyone given a living minimum income.

  12. anon

    It is disgraceful but not entirely surprising, to see the Citizens Advice Bureau on this list – the very organisation to which many desperate individuals hounded by the DWP turn, under the illusion the CAB remains committed to offering impartial advice and advocacy for ALL citizens equally.

    Unfortunately many local CABs are now largely funded and ‘owned’ by the same local councils that are in many cases also major workfare exploiters..

    As increasing numbers in my local area are finding, if you are on benefits the CAB tends to be as harsh and draconian as the DWP and councils themselves – treating claimants like SECOND CLASS citizens, refusing to advocate on their behalf, and literally acting as enforcers for their oppressors (notably over Bedroom Tax) – agressively ordering vulnerable individuals to comply with DWP and council ‘rules’, even when such rules have been applied wrongly or unlawfully.

    Limitations of (largely council-sponsored) CAB funding do not excuse this, and it seems to be the case that councils are now dictating how such funds are spent, and who the CABs are, or are not authorised to assist. Thus for example, at my local CAB, the sick and disabled are often bullied into attending workfare schemes without appeal (and now we know why!), while impoverished bedroom tax and council tax victims are informed they must pay money they can not afford and in many cases may not even lawfully owe.

    Our local CAB has taken on the draconian arrogance and cruelty (I have seen evidence in writing) of Dickensian beadles and workhouse bosses, and their treatment of the poorest has degenerated into a thatcherite wet dream about reminding them of their ‘proper place’ and bullying them into accepting it.

    Moreover, in the same council building that houses my local CAB branch is a workfare pimping company, and the two work closely together, with the CAB having been pressurising disabled clients for years to “volunteer” their spare time with this organisation.

    The thinking behind all this seems to be that without Legal Aid, vulnerable citizens have been completely disenfranchised, with no means of enforcing complaints or seeking damages over the consequences of inaccurate or harmful ‘advice’. Therefore they have become fodder for the funding mill, and their interests no longer count.

    As a former advice worker (non CAB), I used to recommend people go to the CAB, but no longer feel able to – in fact I now suggest they proceed with extreme caution and seek support (and ‘second opinions’ over any CAB advice) from relevent Facebook and other online communities.

    From time to time the CAB still issues reports about the DWP’s treatment of the disabled and other vulnerable groups, but these statements tend to come from the ivory towers at the top, and not local, (often council funded) local offices. And what has been occurring at the CAB coalface since the demise of Legal Aid, is a very different matter.

    Very little if anything has reached public awareness about the CAB’s increasing dubiousness – now fully confirmed by their exposed workfare involvement. Most people still believe the CAB are the good guys. This organisation urgently needs to to be publicly scrutinised and called to account – for exactly the same reasons as their masters in our local councils.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If I were you, I’d be very careful about that Citizens Advice listing.
      I was concerned that people would react as you have when I saw Citizens Advice on the list.
      Each individual Citizens Advice is an organisation in its own right, while being affiliated to the national network. This means that, while some offices may have participated in this activity, not all did. I know for a fact that Citizens Advice Powys didn’t, for example.
      The commitment to provide impartial advice and advocacy for everybody is not an illusion.
      From personal experience of my local Citizens Advice, I find it hard to believe your claims about advice on the Bedroom Tax. If rules are applied wrongly, Citizens Advice works to sort out the problem. My local Citizens Advice restores to claimants more than half a million pounds of benefits that were wrongly stopped, every three months.
      Nobody is treated as second-class. All are treated equally.
      I cannot discuss your own Citizens Advice, of course. I notice, though, that you support your comments with neither your own name nor that of the Citizens Advice office about which you are complaining.
      None of the advice provided by Citizens Advice is inaccurate or harmful. The organisation has extremely strict rules regarding the quality of advice, enforced on a national level.
      I see you say you were a former advice worker with another organisation. Could it be that you have an axe to grind against Citizens Advice and consider this an opportunity to poison people’s minds against an organisation that exists only to help them?
      Citizens Advice reports about the DWP are issued at regional or national level – but use information from every local office.

      So I cannot agree with your comment. Citizens Advice remains an excellent source of help for the people of the United Kingdom. The involvement with MWA in 2012 is worthy of investigation, but you should prepare yourself for a shock if you actually believe that the issue is nationwide. As for local councils being “masters” – they do provide funds, but they have no influence on the nature of the advice provided.

  13. Brian

    Mike, if what you say is correct, and I have no reason to doubt it, why have local CAB’s been allowed to enter politically sensitive territory without national policy. It seems that, perhaps in all good faith, local CAB’s are autonomous of national direction, and as a consequence, the ideals of individuals are allowed to prevail. This is hardly an acceptable framework for the administration of impartial advice.

      1. Brian

        Result, one example of local autonomy.

        ….”a small number of our shops have accepted mandatory work experience placements,………We have now taken the decision to withdraw from any programme (sic) where attendance is mandatory and all existing arrangements will be phased out over the coming few weeks”. Arthritis Research UK.

      2. Brian

        These may not be CAB, but are analogous with the political freedom off which many charitable organisations seem to operate.

        Second example of local autonomy.

        ” after a brief involvement………At the British Red Cross we believe that voluntary placements should, by their nature, be voluntary and it is wrong to place people on mandatory volunteering schemes …. we do not feel that it is appropriate to participate in a programme where sanctions might be applied that could result in an individual losing their benefits.”

        British Red Cross.

  14. mrmarcpc

    Disgraceful behaviour but what else would you expect from the nasty party and their cronies! No wonder IDS bailed out when he did, he knew this was coming and, as a usual politician, especially a right wing one, didn’t have the backbone to stay and take the much deserved brunt he would’ve gotten!

  15. Mark

    This has been happening for years. I remember being on jobseekers allowance (I was 18 at time, 32 now) and being forced to work for rct council for 6months, nearly 40hrs per week, pay all my travel and food costs, just to receive £38 a fortnight in allowance (which the jobcentre declare is a food budget only) I owed more money out to people who helped feed me and pay my travel during those 6months than I ever received in JA before I found work. I would rather sit in the street and beg than be taken advantage of like that again. The state doesn’t actually help you, they use and abuse you and hold you to ransom and it will never change

  16. Nicholas Bulmer

    it’s the illegal fraudulent government that need boycotting everybody stop paying tax !

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