Sunday 5 February 2012

Emma pops up again

Emma Harrison made another appearance on the BBC today, this time on Pienaar's Politics on 5 Live.  I haven't listened to it yet.  Fortunately the Scottish Sunday Express has provided a summary of Harrison's views under the headline "PM warned over vulnerable families".  She is described as "the woman appointed by David Cameron to get families back into work".   And she's worried that the £26,000 benefits cap could harm some families with a number of seriously disabled children, families in which the parents are the full-time carers and which would cost the state millions without that parental care.  Can't argue with that.  And she's right that it's a "populist movement" (though I wouldn't use that phrase) that wants to cap benefits.  However, it grates when she says, "I know families ...".  We are always told that it's Harrison's personal knowledge of the unemployed which informs her opinions.  And she seems to row back a bit at the end of the article:"Of course we should reform welfare. We should make it work for today. Somehow it has become possible for 120,000 families to live on benefits. Now within that group of families there might be a small percentage who will always have to live on benefits because of some very, very extreme circumstances." 
If Harrison is going to use her position to challenge the government's more extreme moves, we can only applaud.  But she will need to be armed with some genuine figures.  And she will need to face some informed questioning about A4e's activities.
Perhaps I'll grit my teeth and listen to the programme tomorrow.

Monday:  Harrison's remarks have made other newspapers, including the Financial Times, (which thinks her remarks will be a blow to David Cameron), the Mirror (which says that the "Jobs Tsar" has turned on the Tories) and a brief piece in the Scotsman.  


  1. I caught about half of the program last night. John Pienaar gave Ms Harrison an easy ride (no surprise there).

    She was asked why Gordon Brown did not fully implement her Working Families program. Harrison mentioned that Brown was running out of time politcally and that he was not as enthused by the idea as Cameron apparantly is.

    I agree that IF Ms Harrison is going to be more vocal, then she has to accept where HER company (and the W2W sector in general) has gotten things so badly wrong. And continues to do so!

  2. What, Ms Harrison accepting that her company isnt doing the job when we all know she has earned £9.5 million last/this year(she apparently owns 85% of the shares).

    Forget the recession may be back, forget europe is crumbling, forget cuts everywhere except the work program. Forget that employers would rather hire migrant workers than the unemployed. Forget that show after show, article after article show that the unemployed are all lazy scroungers, or using fraud to get money.

    We all know how easy it is for the unemployed to live off the dole... sarcasm mode off.

  3. Went to the work programme this morning as 'mandatorily' expected. This company is a waste of government money, pointless ex recruitment consultants patronising and condescending to people who are, probably, much brighter than they are. The Cleggeron paid CDG about 63 million to cover the cancelled contracts, why not cancel the whole damn crap and create proper jobs with it. I'm on a back-to-work-course this week, apparently my jobseeking would be a "lot more fun if I were a lot less negative".

  4. An intersting video by John Harris on the Guardian Comment is Free site:

    Feel free to comment!


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