Emma Harrison’s extraordinary performance on Channel 4 News is another blow to the Government’s Work Programme.
The former A4e boss refused to accept figures showing that minimum targets to get just 5.5% of those referred back into work had been missed. This is despite the fact that a statement from the company — of which she is still the largest shareholder — had merely said the figures only covered the first year of the Work Programme.
There are two interesting things about this. The first is that the desperation of Emma Harrison is a good indicator that the figures held by Channel 4 are accurate bringing into question why exactly the Tory government has handed over £46million to a firm that is doing less than the minimum expected to help unemployed people back into work.
The second is that if things are really as rosy as Cameron and his millionaire chums keep telling us — when they crow about falling headline unemployment despite rising numbers of young people who have been unemployed for more than a year and a falling number of full-time jobs — why are their minimum expectations for the Work Programme so low?
The reality is that the wheels are coming off of the Work Programme as it becomes ever clearer that the Tories and Lib Dems have been shovelling cash into the pockets of dodgy private firms in return for them harassing those left without work by the economic crisis off benefits into destitution, and helping to facilitate a continued attack on public-sector jobs in the Jobcentres.
Many of us stuck on these rotten schemes will be hoping that the release of performance figures on the Work Programme next month will be the final nail in the coffin.