Thursday, June 21, 2007

Protest about Government plans to hand over Public Services to religious groups

What YOU can do to help BHA Campaigns
source: BHA News - May / June 2007
Write to your MP

Write to him or her to protest about Government plans to hand over Public Services to religious groups. Example: employment or health services.

You can say this is objectionable in principle and offensive in practice: why should Muslims be forced to go to a Christian enterprise to get a job; why should Humanists have to pass intimate details to a Catholic run health service?

You can say it amounts to a subsidy for religious organisations who are bound to profit by it.

Let BHA know of any reply you get (advise Naomi Phillips, Public Affairs Officer:, 020 7079 3585)

Background to the Religious Takeover of Public Services?
The Government is moving forward with the plan to contract out services to churches. Display advertisments have been published encouraging religious organisations to tender to run the employment service and Jobcentre Plus - the advert barely mentions that other voluntary groups may also tender. The probation service is also at risk of being handed over to the churches under a current bill.

BHA have responded in detail to the Freud report on contracting out services, concentrating on opposing contracts with religious groups - this paper is on BHA website:
  • BHA letter 'Response to the Government’s proposals for welfare reform and to the Freud report, from the British Humanist Association, May 2007:
  • Work and Pensions Minister Jim Murphy replied with bland generalities ot Hanne Stinson's letter
More information
For further information: Naomi Phillips, Public Affairs Officer:
020 7079 3585on. BHA recommendations:-

BHA recommend that the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions):
• does not contract out or sanction the contracting out of the supply of welfare services to religious organisations
• does not privilege religious over inclusive secular organisations in any circumstances
• reviews its reasons for proposing to contract out welfare services to religious suppliers
• bases its welfare policy on clear and testable evidence and not on dogma or spurious assumptions about the role of and ‘need’ for
religious organisations in welfare delivery
• ensures that all contracts and funding agreements will specify that suppliers will be bound by the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and equality and non-discrimination legislation, with no exceptions
• does not award contracts to any organisation which seeks to manifest and/or promote religion or belief through its delivery of welfare or in its hiring practices.
• addresses the problems we identify throughout this submission and then re-thinks its welfare reform policy, specifically in relation to the inclusion and public funding of religious organisations in the areas of welfare and public services more broadly.

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