A whistleblowing Jobcentre manager has told former Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain that the removal of helpline phones for the use of claimants will cause serious difficulties for the most vulnerable people in Britain.
The manager contacted Mr Hain after he expressed concern in the Western Mail and then the House of Commons about the planned removal of phones from the Jobcentre serving his Neath constituents.
Mr Hain said: “This insider blows the gaff on claims that this whole procedure is about modernisation. It shows that cost-cutting has got to such a manic level that people will simply be prevented from accessing the kind of advice and assistance they need to get and are entitled to.
“The benefits system is a nightmarish one of complexity and ambiguity. If you deprive claimants of person-to-person contact and force everyone to go online, it’s a recipe for disaster.
“There are fewer and fewer staff to deal even with those claimants able to go online, while there are many especially older clients who are not.
“This proves what I have felt for a long time – that it’s all about cuts and absolutely nothing to do with creating a better or fairer system. The consequence will be increased misery, with people finding it more difficult to get their benefits restored when they have been cut off as a result of some error.
These changes are dictated by adherence to a tick-box culture, and take no account of the human element.”