Turning to the Work Programme, there's an excellent article on the Public Finance site by Dan Finn, Professor of social inclusion at the University of Portsmouth. It should be essential reading for anyone interested in the subject. Yesterday's Observer has an article claiming that "Iain Duncan Smith's plans for a welfare revolution have run into trouble after the Treasury rejected a series of proposals put forward by his department." IDS's plans are based on the need to invest in reform of the benefits system, but Osborne is intent on slashing the bill for welfare benefits straight away. This comes after Serco's warning that the providers are not happy with plans for the WP contracts. Meanwhile, the "third sector" has been lobbying Chris Grayling to secure their involvement in the WP. It's reported that Grayling "had promised to consider some form of mechanism that could see prime contractors lose their contracts if they 'stuff the voluntary sector'."
I was half listening to The Daily Politics today and thought I heard it said that the government planned to create actual jobs to slot the unemployed into; it would be a refusal to take up such a job which would result in benefits being stopped. Did anyone else hear this?