Bankers occupy the DWP

Twenty activists dressed as bankers stage an occupation at the Department for Work and Pensions on Monday 9 March

Just before 11am, around twenty activists dressed as bankers took over the lobby of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Adelphi House. The aim was to protest that the Welfare Reform Bill was designed by bankers, penalises the poor, and abolishes income support for single parents and incapacity benefit.

Carrying banners saying ‘Target the rich not the poor’ and ‘Stop the Welfare Abolition Bill’, they occupied the lobby until 1pm.

The occupation took place to launch a week of action against the Welfare ‘Abolition’ Bill, whose Green Paper was drafted by staff at Adelphi House and which will have its third reading  on 17 March. The Bill includes proposals to:
• End income support for single parents and incapacity benefit for disabled people
• Introduce a compulsory work for benefits system in a US-style workfare scheme
• Privatise more of the work of Jobcentre Plus to companies which will be paid more the less benefits they award.
• Share claimants’ information with the police

Anne-Marie O’Reillyan activist with Feminist Fightback and London Coalition Against Poverty said:

“Everyone knows that the Government’s Welfare Abolition Bill was designed by ex-banker, David Freud. Even if it weren’t for the banks’ track records, the fact that he has recently defected to the tories should make it clear this Bill need to be thrown out. They threw us out of the building today; we think it’s time they really throw the bankers and their interests out of  Whitehall and stop penalising poor people, disabled people and single mothers.”

Alice Robson, an activist with Feminist Fightback and London Coalition Against Poverty, said:
“The government is bailing out the banks and giving them bonuses whilst cutting welfare benefits for the poor. This Bill does not make sense – the Government should be targeting the rich not the poor to pay for their crisis.”

More reports on week of action against Welfare Reform see: http://www.lcap.org.uk/