But attention needs to turn to all the companies delivering the Work Programme. You may have noticed that in all the recent coverage of the changes, no politician has mentioned the WP. And no journalist has asked the obvious questions. Since the Work Programme is a failure, why are you still pouring money into it? And why are you painting the unemployed as idle, not "doing the right thing" (and much worse), when your scheme to help them into work has proved useless?
We don't know whether A4e's finances have improved in the last 12 months. It seems unlikely. They are still advertising for staff in the same language as in the past. There's an advert for an Advisor (Skills) Work Programme on the jobandtalent site (I don't know whether it's also on UJM) which talks about "individual, tailored support for each customer" and also "sales leads" and "sales calls", which is an odd way of describing contacts with employers. We also get "A4e's DNA: Trusted, Passionate, Driven, Brave, Friendly and Caring" and "A4e's core mission is to improve people's lives". I'm not mocking this. It ought to be the reality. But it's more than ever hollow, when there's no profit to be made and the struggle is just to keep the losses down.
A4e, and all the providers, are almost certainly dealing with people who are increasingly angry and / or demoralised. The government is determined to paint every benefits claimant as a drain on the taxpayer. And now they have used the Philpott case to advance that idea. As the Independent reports, Osborne is "questioning why taxpayers were funding 'lifestyles like that'". Others are using it to call for cuts to child benefit. And all of it after the disgusting Daily Mail opened the subject. For a magnificent rebuttal to that, I applaud Zoe Williams in the Guardian.