If you missed the first episode of Benefit Busters you can watch it via Channel 4's website. If you missed the second episode - tough. It was, apparently, briefly available but has now been withdrawn. This has, of course, fuelled suspicions in some quarters that A4e has insisted on it being pulled. Or was it the DWP? Or possibly someone who was filmed for the programme and who now objects to how he / she was portrayed? Channel 4 are not saying. And the Daily Express is not allowing comments on the brief piece about the programme on is website.
The rumour mill keeps grinding away on the idea that the FND contracts could be cancelled, or at least that one prime contractor could find itself without a contract. It seems that the contracts have not yet been signed, perhaps because negotiations are still going on. But the contracts have been awarded. And a crucial part of FND is that clients have a choice of providers. This means that in all areas contractors and subcontractors have been spending money on setting up facilities and staff. In Hull, for instance, Working Links have had to rent space for the first time. If the contracts were pulled at this stage, would they not be entitled to compensation for this expenditure? Perhaps that's another reason for the Conservatives' reluctance to spell out what they would do. This element of choice in FND also raises the question of what happens when clients all insist on avoiding a particular provider. Benefit Busters has stirred up a hornets' nest, and the DWP should get its act together and respond.