Social security

PCS has taken a leading role within the trade union movement in voicing concerns about welfare policy, and in campaigning to defend and strengthen the welfare state.

As a union representing tens of thousands of staff delivering welfare, PCS has an obligation not only to our members, but to those who use it – including our future, current and former members and their families too.

PCS members take pride in the welfare state, and they want a welfare state that provides a decent standard of living for the retired, the unemployed and for those unable to work, and that rewards them fairly as public servants.

Over the past 30 years the concept of welfare has been under attack. As governments have stopped pursuing policies of full employment they have sought to pass the blame for unemployment to the individual. Now the government’s £18 billion welfare cuts will damage the welfare state as a safety net that ensures a decent standard of living for those unable to work.

There are more than 51,000 PCS members in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) working in a range of roles, including the delivery of Universal Credit (UC). PCS is firmly at the forefront of the opposition and resistance to damaging government policies, providing vital evidence of the impact on claimants as well as on the staff working to support them.

As workers in the field, we are well placed to lead in the development of a real alternative to the decimated, punitive, and piecemeal system that survives after decades of political attacks and government cuts. Social security for every citizen is a fundamental human right and any future system must be based on need not moral judgements, and on the principles of universality, dignity and respect.

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