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.
The report claims that around 100,000 people have gained jobs over the last three years as a direct result of the Work Programme. Whether this is true is almost impossible to establish. Long term unemployment has fallen, but only stands at 20,000 lower than back in 2010 when this Government weren’t elected. Economic growth has eventually returned which would cause unemployment across the board to fall. The report claims to have accounted for this by looking at the number of job vacancies, but what they don’t measure is the huge rise in self-employment. According to ERSA boss Kirsty McHugh at the launch of the report, one in ten of the job outcomes on the Work Programme is self-employment. There is no evidence wheher this self-employment is actually making claimants any money or whether they have just transferred their claim over to Working Tax Credits after pressure from their Work Programme provider.
The report decides to completely ignore Employment Support Allowance (better known as sickness benefit) claimants on the Work Programme, the worst performing aspect of the scheme. It acknowledges that the growth in people getting jobs could be down to other welfare reforms and that the Work Programme might just be displacing jobs elsewhere. In truth they have pulled this figure out of their arses.
But then it gets worse. The £18 billion they claim the Work Programme has added to the economy is over the next 50 years. This is made up of the extra money the claimant will receive over their working life, the money saved by the government in benefit payments, and some magical money added on top which they pretend it will save businesses. The problem with this figure, and it’s a fuckin big one, is that 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.
Even taking their bungled figures at face value, all the report shows is that the Work Programme is adding £140 milion a year to the economy. It is costing around three times that. People leaving the Work Programme are now being forced onto the £300 million Help To Work scheme. These costs will go on and on as new schemes are devised to harass and demoralise unemployed people. Even when the figurs are spun to the point of parody by the very same industry that is raking in all that money, all they can do is show the Work Programme is costing a fortune to achieve virtually fuck all. But then being paid a fortune to do fuck all has long been about the only speciality of the UK’s biggest benefits scam, the welfare to work industry.
ERSA have launched a twitter page as part of their latest marketing strategy to lie bout the success of the Work Programme in the hope of being paid more of our money. You can find them @Proud_to_Work and they are tweeting using the hashtag #proudtowork.
The report is available at: http://ersa.org.uk/media/news/work-programme-add-%C2%A318bn-value-uk-economy
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