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23 January 2007
The government wants more religious groups to be involved in benefits delivery.

A national seminar is to be held in the next few weeks in an effort to recruit more faith groups, Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform, Jim Murphy has announced.

Mr Murphy claimed that:

"We are already working closely with faith organisation in some parts of the country, but I strongly believe that faith based groups can have a much wider role in UK welfare delivery."

Once again the Minister turned to Australia for inspiration as he pointed out that:

"In Australia for example the Salvation Army, Mission Australia and Centrecare all have a long history of involvement in welfare delivery, helping those people who traditionally have shied away from the state. I see no reason why the same can not happen here."

Regular readers will recall that another innovation currently being pushed through in Australia is the power of their version of the DWP to search disabled claimants homes (see: Australian DWP to get power to raid claimants homes).