Sunday, 6 June 2010

Jumping the Gun?

Anyone watching the BBC's Politics Show in the North today would have to assume that the Work Programme contracts are already done and dusted.
The introduction to the item talked about a "Sheffield company" which was going to do what is already done in Germany, work with whole families. They then looked at Orchard Park Estate in Hull, where unemployment is very high and women say there are no jobs for the majority who want to work.
Cut to Emma Harrison of A4e, even more ebullient than usual. Cities like Hull, she said, need more support. A4e are going to be allowed to work with whole families, isn't that wonderful? The new Work Programme will mean "a massive breakthrough" because of this working with entire families. Cut back to a Hull councillor. who said that the programme was about cutting benefits rather than creating jobs. Back to Emma, who talks about the trap of Incapacity Benefit, and how the "radical reforms" will stop this.
A brief studio discussion followed, in which a Labour MP said that the last government did focus on whole families, and this was just re-badging. A woman from the Taxpayers' Alliance talked about making work pay and the need to create jobs.
So what are we to make of this? The company have been pushing for this "whole families" concept for a long time, and it looks like all that lobbying of ministers which Harrison brags about has paid off. The new government's advisers are oblivious to the dangers of giving the employees of a private company the right to interfere in the lives of families. Presumably where A4e has the current FND contracts they will accept the new, "re-negotiated" WP contracts, and that's why Harrison appears to be jumping the gun. If their clients in Hull want to question the new approach they can always seek legal advise - from the CLAC run by A4e.

1 comment:

  1. Working with familys. those words chill me to the bone and im not easily scared. people wake up now.


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