So the revelation that Iain Duncan Smith spent £100,000 hiding the names of companies that have exploited the cheap, unpaid workers available through ‘Mandatory Work Activity’ comes as no surprise.
It is easy to see why. Between June 2011 and July 2012, the total profit made by Mandatory Work Activity provider companies, charities and councils was nearly £1 billion.
There was no cost associated with that profit, either – at least, not to the organisations involved.
You and I and everyone else who pays any tax at all put more than £16 million into making profits for those companies – as we were paying the benefits of the claimants who were being forced to work, and for far less than the then-minimum wage.
And that’s just for a 14-month period, ending more than four years ago.
Mandatory Work Activity has made many billions of pounds for the organisations taking part, and I suspect the Conservative Party has fared very well out of it, also.
How many of the organisations taking party in the scheme are donors to the Conservative Party – and how much did they give?
You see? It was all part of a nasty plan to spend public money and make a private profit for the Tories – to help them gain an unfair advantage at election times when they will be able to outspend everyone else, no doubt.
That is the purpose of Mandatory Work Activity: Making money for the Conservative Party. And that is why we look down on every dirty organisation that has been taking part.
The Tory government blew £100,000 of public money trying to hide a huge list of firms that used jobseekers for unpaid work.
Tesco and Asda were among household names on a list of 500 companies, charities and councils named as taking part in ‘Mandatory Work Activity’.
The list dates to 2011 but was only released in July – after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched an astonishing four-year legal battle to hide it.
Officials claimed releasing the information would hurt “commercial interests” – but eventually lost in the Court of Appeal.
The whole saga cost more than £100,000.
That is because taxpayers had to fund both sides of the court action in a farce branded “worthy of a movie plot”.
The DWP spent £92,250 on lawyers and court fees trying to keep the list secret.
It did so by challenging the government-funded Information Commissioner watchdog (ICO), which had to spend £7,931 defending its case.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “Damian Green said the film I, Daniel Blake was ‘a work of fiction bearing no relation to the modern benefits system’.
“And yet here we have a scenario worthy of a movie plot in which a government tries to hide the truth of its own failings from the public.
“They think nothing of demonising those who need the support of our social security system, a system that is there for any one of us in a time of need, forcing them into unpaid work or using spurious reasons to sanction them to manipulate the unemployment figures.
“At the same time they fritter taxpayers’ money on lawyers to cover up their failings and defend pernicious policies like the bedroom tax.”
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