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130627workprogramme

Here’s an article that ticks many boxes. Johnny Void writes:

“The body established to lie on behalf of the fraud ridden welfare-to-work industry have launched a new campaign on the back of a report so breath-takingly dishonest it would make Iain Duncan Smith blush.

“According to the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the floundering Work Programme has been a huge success and is set to add £18 billion to the economy.  This is based on a report which ERSA commisioned from a consultancy company called Europe Economics who have mangled the figures in an attempt to hoodwink the DWP into giving Work Programme providers like A4e and G4S even more tax payer’s cash.”

You can read the rest of the article here – but we’ve been here before. Look at the issues mentioned:

1. The report claims that around 100,000 people have gained jobs over the last three years as a direct result of the Work Programme – but that claim is based on the number of job vacancies. What about the phenomenal rise in self-employment? What about the question of whether these people are actually self-employed or are merely claiming Working Tax Credits because it is easier than jumping through the hoops placed in front of them by Job Centre Plus?

2. The report ignores the Work Programme’s utter failure to find jobs for people in the Work-Related Activity group of Employment and Support Allowance. These ESA claimants are in danger of losing their benefit entitlement at the end of a year – whether their physical condition has improved or not – and should therefore be a priority but the Work Programme providers are continually ignoring them in a process known as ‘Cream and Park’ – they ‘cream’ off the people they can easily get into work and ‘park’ those – like people on ESA – whose cases are too much like hard work.

3. The assumption that the Work Programme will add £18 billion to the economy is based on a lie. The figure adds together the amount the government is expected to save in benefits and the claimant is expected to receive in extra money, along with “some magical money added on top which they pretend it will save businesses”, as Johnny colourfully puts it. The trouble is, as he points out: “It assumes that everyone who gets a job and keeps it on the Work Programme is a 17-year-old with 50 years of working life ahead of them.  17-year-olds aren’t even eligible for the Work Programme” [bolding mine].

4. At face value, the report shows that the Work Programme is only adding £140 million to the economy at the moment – but it costs at least three times as much, according to Johnny’s article. What does this mean? The Work Programme is costing the UK economy at least £280 million every year.

Some might call that a measure of success – in 2012 Vox Political branded it “a £527 million failure“.

But ask yourself this question:

Would that money not be better spent helping the poor, rather than supporting corporate parasites?

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