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Protesters have successfully halted a conference on the government’s controversial ‘Work Programme’ after calling for a demonstration and picket on the first day.

The protest was to act as a launchpad for campaign coalition Boycott Workfare, an alliance of anti-cuts and anti-poverty groups, trade unionists, unemployed people and others, who are hailing the cancellation as their first positive achievement. Conference organisers Inside Government pulled the event after worries that the demo would harm their relationship with the venue, the Royal Society.

The Work Programme forms part of the Welfare Reform Bill, currently going through the House of Lords, and would force those on unemployment benefits to work up to 30 hours a week in places like Poundland to earn their JSA. This works out as equivalent to £2.25 an hour for those over 25, and a measly £1.78 an hour for those younger.

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