Monday, 31 August 2009

What Emma has to say

If you're interested in Emma Harrison's reaction to the infamous Benefit Busters episode, you can read it on her blog. Note that she visited the Hull office on the day the programme was aired. And note the implied criticism of the city. "There is a system called Rapid Reclaim - but the people of Hull tell us that it is not Rapid enough." "Rapid reclaim" is a government scheme to help people get their benefits back quickly after short-term employment - something Emma didn't appear to know about when she was interviewed for the programme. But never fear, A4e is on the case. "A4e is highlighting this issue and looking for solutions - we are even considering ways in which we could offer this reassurance from our resources. This is important as i think it is the reason that some people are getting trapped on benefits." [My italics] On the same day Emma has a post about Flexible New Deal. It's going to be so much better!
But nothing on why the Benefit Busters episode is now unavailable.


  1. Found this on a a4e face book group, from an ex A4E employee I think.

    Quote: 'God didn't Emma squirm regarding agancy posts. Now for those who didn't realise it may be of interest that after that episode was filmed a diretive came down the chain of command that agancies were not to be used.'

  2. She also neglects to mention that about 75% of A4e "clients" were sent packing for the day she was in town. I came back from a placement only to find most of my group to have been removed for the day or a week.
    Harrison's treading on very, very thin ice, and I hope people saw BB episode 2 before it was removed from the C4 website - a real critique of the uselessness of the system. Claiming bonuses for jobs that vanish weeks later, sounds like the fraud case they're still investigating but keeping marvellously quiet - seems the golden girl herself is getting a fair bit of protection. Lock her up.

  3. Well done, Appleseed. The Facebook group is "A4e The Truth". Disgruntled staff reveal the greed and corruption.

  4. a4e are not the providers featured in episode 3 of Benefit Busters. It's the Shaw Trust. I have no idea about them.

  5. The Shaw Trust are part of the voluntary sector rather than a private business - though they get paid in the same way. See

  6. Well, tbh, it looks the same kind of deal. They provide the same sort of government services for a profit, just like a4e. Are they as bad? We shall see. But the DWP/JCP are all over their website which mentions terrors like the New Deal. Not encouraging.

    But I digress; this site isn't called 'watching Shaw Trust' :)

  7. Advocatus Diaboli2 September 2009 at 01:26

    On one of my last forays to A4e 'somewhere in England', an employee had the nerve to describe the recent past as one of full employment! No wonder everyone else in the room was playing it cool (pace Goffman).

  8. We can only hope it has the same effect on Emma...

    'Secret millionaire' declared bankrupt
    By Laura May, Press Association
    Wednesday, 2 September 2009
    A businessman who gave away tens of thousands of pounds on Channel 4's Secret Millionaire programme has been declared bankrupt, solicitors said today.

    Midlands-based property developer Chek Whyte was last month reported to be in £30m of debt and attempting to make arrangements to continue trading while paying off his debts.

    But the self-made millionaire who appeared on the TV series in 2007 to give money to deserving causes in Salford, Manchester was adjudged bankrupt at Leicester County Court last Friday.

    Manchester law firm Pannone LLP, acting on behalf of creditor Halls Furnishings Ltd, said: "As has been reported, Mr Whyte had put forward proposals for an individual voluntary arrangement which were withdrawn and therefore, as no further proposals were put to creditors, the court made the bankruptcy order.

    "Mr Whyte's exposure on TV has portrayed him as an altruistic individual but sadly his business dealings have left him owing suppliers tens of thousands of pounds and these businesses have to take steps to recover monies owed to them".

  9. I seem to remember A4e director Rob Newey echoing Emma's words when he said 'all the problems of the old New Deal would be eradicated when the the Flexible new Deal comes in'(sic) when he was interviewed on the Radio 5 Donal McIntyre Investigates programme in April this year.
    Somehow I think it will be business as usual as far as overcrowding, lack of training etc are concerned.

  10. I think it was actually Rob Murdoch who was on the programme but, yes, that was the message.

  11. Thanks Historian, I knew it was Rob Somebody


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