We mentioned the other day the report which advocated cutting out the private sector and funding local councils to do the welfare-to-work stuff. Just how far the government is from this approach is shown by a programme called Invest to Save. You can read the supplier information on the DWP site but a simpler explanation is: "ItS is in effect a new way of financing back to work support whereby Treasury will transfer funding for benefit payments to DWP for the 3 years of the contract (from March 2011). DWP will contract with providers to deliver back to work support. If a provider helps a customer to move into work the benefit savings will be used to pay the provider." It's due to start in 2011, in Glasgow, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Norfolk and London, and providers, including A4e, are gearing up to put in their bids. All the electioneering rhetoric, on all sides, about giving power back to communities is clearly empty. As the DWP says, "The programme would utilise the funding arrangements outlined in David Freud's report 'Reducing Dependency, Increasing Opportunity' which was published in March 2007." Freud is now advising the Conservatives, because Labour wouldn't go far enough for his liking.