Two quotes from that grisly Emma Harrison interview on Channel 4 News:
1. (about the leaked A4e figures) "They're wrong."
They were right.
2. "The Work Programme is the most successful programme we've ever run."
The one thing that's missing from the data released so far is the comparative figures for the providers, at least in a form that means something. So we don't yet know how A4e compares with the others.
Everything else is out there. The dead weight figure for the first year was 5%, the number expected to get jobs without the WP or any other intervention. So the target of 5.5% was very low. The actual figure achieved is 3.5%. There were 200,000 breaks in claiming, which the ERSA (the providers' trade body) wants to spin as 200k jobs. Mark Hoban on the Daily Politics claimed that one in four have found work. Iain Duncan Smith says that more than 50% have come off benefits. Yeah, right.
The best summary, surprisingly, comes from the Daily Mail. What a pity they spoil it by referring to people "returning to claim handouts". Hoban intends to write to the worst-performing providers telling them to produce an action plan. A far cry from the original promise to "sack" them.
There's a fair bit more talk to come today, much of it trying to prove that black is white.