Union calls for return to ‘old welfare state’ values

The
Public and Commercial Service Union (PCS) is calling for a more targeted
approach to the work and benefits system in response to the Labour Party’s
consultation document on a Modern Welfare State.

The
union, which represents around 90,000 staff delivering jobs and benefits, has
recommended 30 reforms and called for the minimum wage to be lifted to £5.30
per hour.

PCS
president Janice Godrich wants the Government to bring the minimum wage up to
the level of the European decency threshold in the course of this parliament.

"Support
for children, pensioners and the unemployed has seriously deteriorated since
the welfare state was created in 1948. The current Labour government has taken
some important steps in reversing the Tory neglect of the welfare state support
system, but much more needs to be done," she said.

"The
underlying principles of the welfare state remain sound, but the levels of
benefit are simply too low to provide the kind of support system originally
envisaged by Sir William Beveridge. A review is long overdue."

The
union also recommends:

·
Adoption and implementation of the Working Time Directive

·
Introduction of a statutory 35 hour week

·
Restoration of the earnings link for the state pension

·
Legislation requiring all employers to provide a final salary pension scheme
and for all workers to be a member of it

By Ross Wigham

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