As high unemployment, austerity, and cuts ravage Europe, and millions of people are plunged into poverty, the workfare industry continues to promote poverty and a europe-wide race to the bottom. But people across Europe are refusing to run that race.
Wondering what this has got to do with EU? Follow the money: In 2010 A4e alone had already received £60 million from the European Social Fund (ESF).
Perversely the ESF claims its aim is to ‘help millions of Europeans improve their lives by learning new skills and finding better jobs’. Yet A4e continues to fail to meet its targets to get people into work and to ruin lives via sanctions. The EU continues to fund it to do so. Not to be outdone, REED and Deloitte-owned Ingeus have their snouts in the trough as well: REED were recently awarded £4.9 million. ESF-funded Ingeus recently had a visit from an EU commissioner to highlight its ‘successes’, which is odd given that it too is failing to meet its minimum Work Programme targets.
Whilst workfare providers make millions from scrounging astronomical sums in the form of both UK and EU taxpayer subsidies, jobseekers continue to be scapegoated, punished and impoverished. Yet if workfare providers and funders can co-operate across borders, so too can the people in Europe – in fact we should. We are keen to hear from groups across the EU. If you are in Europe and reading this, please contact us. If you are a EU citizen in the UK on workfare or who has been sanctioned then get in touch.
The First Vienna International Conference of Unemployed is a welcome opportunity to share counter-strategies and to network together. We have the tools. We have the ideas. Let’s use them.
Read Boycott Workfare’s speech to the conference.