Number 5: The Culture of DWP and Trust
Put succinctly, DWP has become all about slap downs, not hand ups and has moved a long way from help for those who can work and support for those who cannot. A culture has developed around off flows, by whatever means, that has undermined the very concept of a public employment service.
The culture that has developed has given free rein to bullies. You find such people in all walks of life, but usually they are challenged. In recent years in DWP, they have been allowed and encouraged to bully clients and fellow members of staff and subordinates to get people off the register.
Ms Reeves needs to address this culture, if she wants to turn the Department back into what it used to be and, crucially, needs to be if social security spending is to be reduced over the medium to long term. Attitudes towards clients (which always sounded better to me than either claimants or customers) need to change and trust between civil servants and those on social security needs to be rebuilt. Without these changes, it will be hard to persuade people to take up a renewed package of support, designed to help them into sustainable employment.