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Work Programme Failing 90% Of ESA Claimants Finds MPs’ Report

November 6, 2014

The companies running the Government’s flagship scheme to cut joblessness have backtracked on promises to focus on hard-to-help claimants, a MPs’ report published today says.

The Public Accounts Committee denounced the failure to target more help on the most difficult cases as a “scandal”.

Firms operating the Work Programme are spending less than half the amount they had originally pledged on claimants with disabilities such as mental health problems. Such groups are being “parked” as the firms focus on finding jobs for people considered easier to help into employment, the PAC said.

In a damning verdict on the programme, which was launched three years ago, the MPs accused Iain Duncan Smith’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of failing to give incentives to providers to support harder-to-help claimants to find a job.

Almost 90 per cent of claimants of Employment and Support Allowance, which is paid to the sick and disabled, who are on the Work Programme have not been found jobs.

Margaret Hodge, the PAC’s chairman, said: “Evidence shows differential payments have not stopped contractors from focusing on easier-to-help individuals and parking harder-to-help claimants, often those with a range of disabilities including mental health challenges.

“Data from Work Programme providers shows that they are, on average, spending less than half what they originally promised on these harder to help groups.

“It is a scandal that some of those in greatest need of support are not getting the help they need to get them back to work and are instead being parked by providers because their case is deemed just too hard.

“The Department must do more to encourage providers to work with harder-to-help groups.”

Mrs Hodge also warned that the DWP’s sanctions regime could cause “significant financial hardship” to individuals.

“Feedback from some constituents suggests the number of sanctions has been increasing, and some providers have been recommending sanctions more than others,” she said.

A DWP spokesman said: “As this report says, the Work Programme is helping more people than any previous employment programme, with over 330,000 people moving into lasting work and finally gaining the economic security that comes with a regular pay packet.

“The Work Programme has contributed to the largest drop in long-term unemployment in a generation and providers are paid by results, with more money for the hardest to reach, but only if they get those people back into lasting work.”

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2014 9:52 am

    Who is telling porkies, surely not the DWP spokesperson

  2. Jeffery Davies permalink
    November 6, 2014 10:46 am

    I see back into work doesnt these mps really ask questions how many stacking shelves how many just didn’t bother to sign on anymore but you bet that many more than 600; 000 are stacking shelves at the salvation army you bet they dont tell you this its been a nightmare from the start its never been about saving monies but that the monies went to their friends companys who after all just like the banksters award themselves vast bonuses remember emma when she took that little extra 8.6 million ontop of her pay yep its always been to rob the surfs yo pay their mates

  3. November 6, 2014 11:30 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  4. November 6, 2014 3:04 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  5. annoyeddeaf permalink
    November 6, 2014 7:34 pm

    Did you see how painful ,suffering and dying with lower life where’s the job for disabled deaf or blind peoples .

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  1. IDS should be a candidate for his own Work Programme | Vox Political

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