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Iain Duncan Smith really is an arse isn't he?

(204 Posts)
MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 17-Feb-13 17:16:37

"The next time somebody goes in - those smart people who say there's something wrong with this - they go into their supermarket, ask themselves this simple question, when they can't find the food they want on the shelves, who is more important - them, the geologist, or the person who stacked the shelves?"

There is so much wrong with this that I can't even begin. [cross]

edam Fri 22-Feb-13 14:01:39

So it's a. expensive and b. worse than useless - fewer people on workfare get jobs than if they'd been left to their own devices.

ttosca Fri 22-Feb-13 01:42:18

MPs blast government's flagship Work Programme

After more than a year the multibillion-pound scheme has helped just 3.6% of long-term unemployed find jobs


The government's flagship multibillion-pound programme for helping the long-term unemployed into work has been branded "extremely poor" in a damning assessment by MPs.

The public accounts committee (PAC) said that during the first 14 months of the Work Programme, to last July, only 3.6% of claimants on the scheme moved off benefits into sustained employment.

This was less than a third of the 11.9% the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) expected to achieve, and well below the official estimate of what would have happened if the programme had not been launched, said the MPs.

Margaret Hodge, who chairs the committee, said the programme was particularly failing young people and the hardest to help.

She said: "It is shocking that of the 9,500 former incapacity benefit claimants referred to providers, only 20 people have been placed in a job that has lasted three months, while the poorest-performing provider did not manage to place a single person in the under-25 category into a job lasting six months."

She also criticised the DWP for publishing unvalidated data from a trade body representing Work Programme providers, saying: "This is just not on."

The programme was introduced in June 2011, at an estimated cost of between £3bn and £5bn over five years, but PAC said the performance in the first year or so fell well short of expectations.

Not one of the 18 providers met its contractual targets and their performance varied "wildly", the report found.

The MPs warned that, given the poor performance, there was a high risk that one or more providers would fail and go out of business or have their contracts cancelled.

"Given the poor performance across providers, there is a high risk that one or more will fail – either they will go out of business or the department will cancel their contracts," the report says. "The Department will need to keep a close eye on which providers are most likely to fail and must manage all consequential risks."

The report also reveals that all 18 organisations involved in the Work Programme, which include companies such as A4e and Ingeus Deloitte, have been placed on "performance improvement plans" and that in seven cases, organisations had been sent formal letters warning of unacceptable standards.

The next set of performance data will be published in March, which PAC said should give the DWP a better idea about companies that may go out of business or have contracts terminated, and urged the department to prepare specific contingency plans should failure occur.

Hodge said, that although the Work Programme was crucial, its performance "was so poor that it was actually worse than the department's own expectations of the number of people who would have found work if the programme didn't exist."

"None of the providers managed to meet their minimum performance targets. The best performing provider only moved 5% of people off benefits and into work, while the worst managed just 2%."

The DWP said PAC was painting "a skewed picture" and that industry data also published in November showed that 200,000 people had been placed in work. The department believes that a large proportion of these will turn out to meet the payment criteria of jobs sustained for at least six months and this will show up in the next round of data.

A DWP spokesperson said: "The Work Programme gives support to claimants for two years and it hasn't even been running that long yet, so it's still early days. We know the performance of our providers is improving … Long-term unemployment fell by 15,000 in the latest quarter."

Previous schemes, the department said, had paid out "too much up front regardless of success. But by paying providers for delivering results, the Work Programme is actually offering the taxpayer real value for money."

Kirsty McHugh, chief executive of the back to work industry body, the Employment Related Services Association, said, "The public accounts committee should rightly focus on the Work Programme achieving value for money for the taxpayer, and data published by ERSA shows that the Work Programme is the most cost effective scheme relative to any comparable scheme so far.

"'These outcome statistics relate to the earliest days of the Work Programme and caution is needed before we can judge its overall effectiveness.

"However, robust data published by ERSA last November shows that the Work Programme is placing more people into work month on month and we can already see the programme having a demonstrable impact in reducing long-term unemployment as evidenced in this week's labour market statistics."

ssd Wed 20-Feb-13 20:18:13

great post couthy

hopefully those of you claiming otherwise will see how damaging this is to ordinary workers as well as the unemployed

Darkesteyes Wed 20-Feb-13 17:20:03

Exactly Couthy.

MerryCouthyMows Wed 20-Feb-13 16:44:26

But moondog - when YOU cleaned toilets, swept café floors etc. YOU would have been paid MORE than the equivalent rate of JSA at that time.

So if you cleaned toilets in 1998, you would have received more than the £47 a week that JSA was then.

Therefore if you clean toilets in 2013, you expect to receive more than the £71 a week that JSA is now...

And that is the crux of it. If a job is there to be done, instead if providing FREE labour (for the company) to go the job, whilst STILL paying JSA to the claimant, the company should be made to HIRE that person as a member of staff paid AT LEAST NMW, thus TAKING THAT CLAIMANT OFF BENEFITS?!

Why are people so blind to see that the people this policy hurts the most are those that WOULD be doing these jobs as PAID work, being paid AT LEAST NMW?!

Where do THOSE people now find work?

Oh yes.

They can't. So after 6 months of being unable to find a PAID job...they are sent to do that job for their JSA.

Why, as an employer, would you hire someone for 40hrs a week @ £6.19/hr (paying out £247.60 a week) when you were being OFFERED MONEY to take somebody to do that job for free?!

It wouldn't be great business sense, would it?

So it is a no-brainer WHY these companies are clamouring to be a part of the 'work programme'.

It is, in a fell swoop, DESTROYING all the employment rights that have been fought for from the 70's onwards.

No entitlement to maternity leave, no entitlement to paternity leave, no entitlement to sick leave (if you get sick on the work programme and don't go to your work placement, your JSA IS STOPPED), no entitlement to holiday (At ALL, paid OR unpaid), no entitlement to parental leave if your DC are sick, no entitlement to pension provision...

The list goes on and on.

And the thing is, once they have destroyed worker's rights for the lower end of society, those currently unemployed, how long do you think it will be before these rights are abolished for EVERY WORKER?

Darkesteyes Wed 20-Feb-13 16:22:43

Thankyou very much for the link tosca. Duncan Smith squirming.Bastard.

cornycourvoisier Wed 20-Feb-13 15:51:17

he keeps banging on about how people on workfare are 'paid by the taxpayer.'

Well so are you IDS you vile, vile man.
Hopefully not after the next election though.

ttosca Wed 20-Feb-13 15:11:15

Listen to serial liar and sociopath Ian Duncan Smith become increasingly agitated as he is called out on his lies and spin:

Iain Duncan-Smith was involved in an explosive bust-up with James O'Brien live on LBC 97.3.

domesticgodless Tue 19-Feb-13 14:02:15

And btw the economy needs skills not more unskilled workers. China and India can supply those at 1/10th of the price. We need a well trained workforce and what do we get? Useless Gove destroying the education system and limited opportunities for everyone except people with rich parents to actually train for a job. On a global level we are very fucked.

domesticgodless Tue 19-Feb-13 14:00:55

Like everything else this useless and corrupt government does, it benefits only the short term interests of profit and ultimately wastes both individual talent and the economy itself. Putting two people out of productive work instead of allowing the unemployed person to train for something skilled of which they are quite probably capable.

The attitude of Rhiannon etc is pure, bitter snobbery and assumes that all the unemployed (especially the young) are up themselves and want to spend their time dreaming about careers in 'friendship bracelet making' as moondog so memorably (and ludicrously) said above...when they could be being proper slaves and 'no better than they ought to be' as my gran used to say :D

domesticgodless Tue 19-Feb-13 13:58:18

limitedperiodonly- absolutely!! Or both

limitedperiodonly Mon 18-Feb-13 22:18:37

Or part time derailers. Which isn't economically productive and so unworthy of attention at this dire time.

limitedperiodonly Mon 18-Feb-13 22:15:11

As I said before. People who champion the Work Programme are either economically illiterate or spoiling for a fight.

BreconBeBuggered Mon 18-Feb-13 22:03:48

Rhiannon86, I cannot for the life of me see what training is required to stack shelves that takes more than an hour or so to familiarise staff with the layout of the store and stockroom. My very first job as a student many years ago entailed doing just that, with a crew of equally inexperienced students who needed part-time work to finance themselves. Oddly enough, we got the hang of it well before our first shift was over. Now as it happens, once my course had finished I did decide to go on a full-time government employment scheme that only paid £10 plus travelling expenses (PhD student boyfriend was deemed to be supporting me so no unemployment benefit) because it could and did lead to an offer of paid work in my field. Unpaid shelf-stacking would have taken me precisely nowhere.

NicholasTeakozy Mon 18-Feb-13 21:32:21

I know a young lad who's just finished a four week placement at Poundland. His verdict: pointless. He got no training whatever, and whenever he asked what they wanted him to do he was left dangling and spent the time walking round the store to spot areas to re-stock. He feels, as do I, that he should've been paid NMW for his time off the unemployment statistics.

Darkesteyes Mon 18-Feb-13 21:21:53

The Poundland Principle.

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Mon 18-Feb-13 20:54:06

If that were really the case Rhiannon86, why not allow them to continue with volunteer work relevant to the job they are searching for? If a job (for money) comes up, then of course they need to take that or stop claiming benefit, but it's ridiculous to suggest that someone who has perfectly good work experience but is currently out of work has to go and stack shelves for a commercial business without being paid a WAGE. How valuable would you consider the experience of stacking shelves to be when you were considering who to employ? More valuable than other volunteer work where the applicant was able to point to relevant experience?

How long do you think Poundland spend showing their employees (the ones they pay) how to stack shelves?

What is workfare in Poundland giving the claimant?

Do you honestly honestly think that workfare experience in Poundland would be more valuable to the claimant in terms of future job prospects than volunteer work in the museum? This wasn't about a benefit to the claimant at all. If someone is taking on work that someone else would normally be paid to do then they should be paid for it. And they should be paid the same rate if they are doing the same work.

If workfare is to give people work experience to be of benefit to the claimant (rather than as a punishment for daring to be out of work and claiming JSA) then why can't they get that work experience in a volunteer placement of their choice, if they are able to arrange it?

Why should tax payer's money be paid over to commercial enterprises for a completely pointless exercise? It's bonkers. I don't want my taxes going to Tesco and Poundland - it skews the market in any case.

I don't suppose we shall ever agree though.

ivykaty44 Mon 18-Feb-13 16:24:05

Moondog, in answer to your question read my post, no one should be forced, that is not then a volunteer and remember volunteers do take away jobs for pay giving the receiver of the volunteering an advantage

Rhiannon86 Mon 18-Feb-13 16:16:53

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ttosca Mon 18-Feb-13 14:44:18

The people who are genuinely disgusted and outraged by this can help out by sending emails or tweets to the exploitative companies:

List Of Workfare Companies

You will also find an outline of some of the arguments against workfare as well as a template letter at the bottom.

Thanks guys!

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Mon 18-Feb-13 14:00:07

But moondog nobody should HAVE to volunteer to clean toilets or sweep up in cafes. Not unless that was part or a wider volunteering duty in an environment where they were learning other skills or making useful contacts. If you are cleaning toilets, sweeping up or stacking shelves (all jobs that need doing) then this should be PAID for.

A few people keep missing the point (of this thread) that it's not (not even a little bit) about someone thinking that some sort of work is "beneath" them or that if you haves a degree then you should never have to take on a job you don't want (if you are expecting state benefits). Of course, if the shelf stacking job is the only one available to you then that's the one you'll have to take until you find one you prefer. The point is that if you are stacking shelves you should be PAID to do it. You shouldn't have to leave your volunteer work to "volunteer" to stack shelves. The shelves need stacking. The company needs the shelves stacked. Therefore they should pay someone who wants the job to do it! I do not understand why this is so hard to comprehend.

noddyholder Mon 18-Feb-13 12:38:20

If you have paid 50k plus for an education you should at least be able to do all you can to get a career going in your chosen field and if that involves volunteering in that profession to get a foot in then so be it but to make people do irrelevant jobs such as tesco etc is just wrong. If tesco needs shelves stacked or loos cleaned then let them bloody pay someone who is looking for unskilled work to do it and get them off the dole!

moondog Mon 18-Feb-13 11:23:19

But Ivy, who will volunteer to clean toilets or sweep up in cafes or block drains?
It is indisputable that many people will want to volunteer in PR companies and fashion houses or trendy nightclubs.

I couldn't pick and choose when I cleaned toilets/chambermaided/collected census papers on the roughest estate in town.

Life is not all about doing what you want to do.
People shoudl be offered a choice of areas, yes and I have issues with working for large companies like Tesco but you can't just sit there drumming your fingers whilst you umm and aah and eventually plump for working in the wallpaper archives at the V&A.

plonko Mon 18-Feb-13 11:14:54

Glad to see we basically agree.

ivykaty44 Mon 18-Feb-13 10:53:21

What ids misses is that people with a degree will volunteer to work in an area that they need to gain experience to further there career, whether that be archives or something more obscure. Making them stack supermarket shelves instead of volunteer work in their own field is inane as they would be able to get a part time job and volunteer if there weren't people doing workfare for free and taking all the part time jobs

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