Socialist Worker

Oxford Civil service workers

Issue No. 1972

The workers

The workers' protest (Pic: Tracey Rogers)

Women PCS civil service workers’ union members at a job centre in Oxford recently protested against threats to cuts nursery subsidies.

The Department for Work and Pensions in Oxford has told five female employees it will no longer help with childcare subsidies.

The move means three out of the five staff at the office, who are single parents, fear they may have to give up work, as it will mean they will be better off not working.

Kate Douglas, the PCS branch secretary and one of the parents affected, said, “After I have paid rent, council tax and childcare, me and my two children have £450 per month to live on.

“Even after an increase in tax credits, the withdrawal of the subsidy will leave me £75 a month worse off. I will only be £45 per month better off than by claiming income support.

“I work for a government department that is supposed to help single parents into work, yet this is how they treat me.”

Tina Ward, another lone parent, added, “I have a mortgage, and if I had to claim benefits, would face losing my home.”

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Sat 15 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1972
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