In 2008 the DWP themselves admitted that workfare schemes don’t work . There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding work. Saying no will mean sanctions of up to 3 years for unemployed people and 70% of benefits stopped indefinitely for disabled people. The loss of money is particularly harsh in light of all the other cuts to benefits, public services and rises in energy bills and leads to severe hardships. What is particularly worrying locally is Sifa Fireside, a local homeless shelter, have reported “housing benefit is increasingly suspended if people are being sanctioned by Job Centre Plus” , leading to increased homelessness on top of an already out of control homeless crises in Birmingham.
The fact that the Work Programme actually reduces your chances of finding a job, whilst Mandatory Work Activity has no effect on unemployment levels but increases the number of people claiming disability benefit, suggesting that it may worsen health conditions, on top of over half a million sanctions handed out in 2011, and job centres being given targets for people to sanction. Workfare should not be viewed as an attempt to “fix the economy” or “reduce unemployment” but should be seen as an attempt to punish society’s poorest and most vulnerable, it is an act of class warfare. This is a campaign that is winnable however, as there is a growing list of company’s  who have pulled out of Workfare as a result of being targeted by the Boycott Workfare campaign.
 http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2007-2008/rrep533.pdf (page 5)