Leaked documents hint at privatisation of Jobcentres

The government is planning to privatise most services run by Jobcentre Plus, according to documents leaked to trade union leaders.

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said it had seen “a restricted letter between a senior civil servant in the Department for Work and Pensions and minister for work, Margaret Hodge” which detailed proposals for privatisation.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said that up to 100,000 jobs could be affected if the plans went ahead. He warned that industrial action could follow.

The PCS says that the letter to Hodge is from Jonathan Portes, director of work and welfare at the DWP, and outlines “plans for a feasibility study to outsource the main bulk of Jobcentre work, benefit processing, fraud investigation and incapacity benefits”.

Serwotka said the moves “would put the profits of the few ahead of the needs of the many” and called for reassurances from government that services would not be privatised.

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