The Westminster Tory Government (let's do away with any pretence there is liberal or democrat input) is throwing a lot of money at unemployment.
Very little of it reaches the unemployed.
Private companies are making large profits out of Government contracts to carry out what used to be public services. Emma Harrison and her A4e "social purpose" firm are getting all the headlines.
A4e is in receipt of £478 million from the Department of Work and Pensions to run welfare-to-work schemes. There is a fuss ongoing because some A4e employees have been arrested for fraud, as in allegedly stealing public money. Forged signatures and dodgy time sheets are among the allegations.
The DWP has a zero tolerance on fraud, as many a single mother caught moonlighting as an office cleaner for £5 an hour will tell you. Despite suspicions surfacing of fraudulent transactions, A4e chairman and founder Emma Harrison was recruited by David Cameron as the Government's "family champion".
There is no suggestion of wrong-doing by Ms Harrison. Her involvement is that she owns 85% of A4e and paid herself an £8m dividend last year.
Ms Harrison has resigned as a Government tsar and stood down as chairman to "avoid distractions" as A4e remains on the Government's payroll.
I am no expert on how to run a social purpose company. I am not sure about how to get people back to work when the Government policy is to lay waste the economy and create mass unemployment. But give me £478m of the DWP budget and I will give it a go. I can promise some of the money will trickle down to the unemployed.
With my £8m annual dividend there will be work for the building trade renovating the large country house I intend to purchase. There will be permanent posts for a butler, cooks, footmen, scullery maids, chauffeurs, under-gardeners and a sommelier to tend the wine cellar. I will, of course, pocket the £2000 Government bounty for finding these people jobs.
I won't force candidates to work for free, as appears to be the case with some big companies. I will be available as a tsar.
The name A4e apparently means Action for Employment. My company will be called AFE. That's A for Any and E for Excuse. Guess what the F stands for?
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