In the parallel universe inhabited by Nu-Labour, where all Labour voters are automatically ‘victims’ of something or someone and all Conservative voters automatically ‘villains’ – it is axiomatic that the solution to any given problem should not involve a ‘victim’ doing anything to help themselves, should increase the tax burden on any ‘villain’ unwise enough to have swollen the capitalist ranks of the employed, and preferably involve the enrichment of a labour minister somewhere and a chance to star in a reality TV programme. If you can throw in a feckless ‘child’ under the care of social services made good, and now lording it on the estate of a former Conservative voter (shades of Mugabe’s land grab dictum here) then you have really hit the jackpot.
Thus it is that the solution to the ‘problem’ of 2.5million unemployed concealing some 1 million long term young unemployed who have neither intention nor ability when it comes to getting a job is NOT to stop their benefits and assume they will find themselves some mindless and probably short term employment in preference to starving in the gutter – that would be cruel and heartless to a victim – but to employ someone to find it for them – at the tax payers expense (it being a known fact that you cannot be sufficiently cruel or heartless to a tax payer).
The tax payer was kind enough to sponsor young Emma Harrison (and her Social Worker) on an Outward Bound course to Thornbridge Hall in Derbyshire. We shall probably never know what prompted the tax payer to think that this largess was essential to young Emma’s future, but we do know that it turned into a seemingly never ending burden.
The Sunday Times Rich list now place Emma’s fortune at £35 million – and she is back in Thornbridge Hall as Chatelaine, and the tax payer is still paying for it.
She owns a company called A4e, which takes healthy sums of money from the tax payer to teach the long term unemployed to smarten themselves up for an interview at ‘Poundland’ and claims as a ‘success’ that ‘Poundland’ offer them two weeks unpaid work in order to see whether they might be suitable for future employment. No really, I’m not making this up. This woman has made a £55 million personal fortune by persuading the government to give her the tax payers hard earned pennies to do something that a simple cut in benefits would achieve in minutes. Her company is turning over £100m and has 1,850 employees.
The government require claimants to attend Emma’s courses for 13 weeks – or lose their benefits. See? It’s cruel to threaten to take someones benefit away for not trying to get a job from some filthy capitalist – but its perfectly OK to threaten to take away their benefits if they refuse to consume tax payers pennies on a course run by a NU-Labour zealot – that’s the sort of topsy-turvy thinking you get when you have David Blunkett MP as one of your advisers on £30,000 a year.
There have been complaints about Emma’s company in the past, not investing in things like chairs for ‘clients’ to sit on, or computers to enable them to check out the job centre, apparently these problems were because the government was handing out short term contracts for her services and she never knew when her next tax payer funded hand-out would appear, but from this October she has secured better terms – at a price.
Around £1,500 per client…….but the government is making 60% of that conditional on her finding the client a job……………try reading that again until it sinks right in.
We are talking about young, long term unemployed people – who cost the tax payer approximately £30,000 a year each (including all associated benefits) who cannot be persuaded to find a job by the job centre, in itself tax payer funded, being handed over to a private company run by a multi millionaire, who is given £1,500 per client to find them a job – and only £900 of that is conditional on her actually doing that?
A4e is currently under investigation after discrepancies emerged in “confirmation of employment” forms submitted by the company. Forms meant for employers agreeing to take on workers had been fraudulently filled in. In some cases, signatures were falsified.
Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesman, said the government should review which companies were allowed to bid for contracts working with some of the most vulnerable people in society.
“The taxpayer is over a barrel to a small number of companies cashing in on the recession. It beggars belief that companies subject to investigation should be potentially in line for lucrative contracts dealing with a particularly vulnerable group,” he said.
It also beggars belief that this is the company currently cashing in on the craze for reality TV – and is the employer of ‘Hayley’ the loud mouthed star of last weeks ‘Benefit Busters’. At the end of the episode 10 women were picked and agreed to be filmed.
Two ‘dropped out’. Sadly for A4e, only 4 of the women secured employment – and only 3 women remained in the jobs.
That looks like 4 @ £1,500 and 6 @ £600, or £9,600 of the tax payers money, plus whatever the TV company paid, – and it is considered a success that Poundland offered them two weeks work experience?
It looks as though I am not the only person offended by this – there is a web site http://newdealscandal.wordpress.com devoted to following the goings on of this company. Worth bookmarking and supporting. Apparently Emma’s company managed to close down their original site.
Edited to add: Demetrius pointed me in the direction of this excellent article by Burning Our Money
Do read it.