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Government subcontractor labels unemployed as ‘lying, thieving bastards’

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By John Glenday, Reporter

January 29, 2013 | 2 min read

Triage, a private subcontractor appointed by the government to shepherd the long-term unemployed out of their homes and into work, has come under fire for labelling their clients as LTBs – lying, thieving bastards’.

The unflattering acronym was coined by staff as a code to describe customers, many of whom were disabled, during staff training sessions.

There are currently 2.5m people in the UK on long-term sickness benefits some of whom are believed to be bogus, hitting the UK purse to the tune of £13bn a year.

As part of a welfare reform bill the government has identified 68,000 of these claimants which it believes can work.

Speaking to the BBC whistle-blower Linda Smith, a former employee of the firm, said: “These people were probably more difficult to place in employment for us as employment workers, but for them (the company) these people were bigger money... these people were the bucks, the ker-ching.”

However Smith contends that little effort was made to find employment for these people once they were on their books, with people simply ‘parked’ instead.

“They would be put on telephone interviews... just to make sure that there was this contact made so they could tick a box to say, 'Yeah, they're still on the Work Programme”, Smith revealed.

In a statement rebutting the allegations Triage said that so called parking was ‘not an option’ for it and that use of the LTB terminology had been an isolated incident and was not ’used or accepted by Triage’.

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