On my Work Programme letter it says the scheme/scam is partly funded by the European Social Fund. A bit of digging found this to be a tad misleading- the ESF only applies to very few areas of our isles. Most of the £7 billion is from the DWP budget.
I was looking at the benefit expenditure tables yesterday to see how the cuts reflect in the forecasts. The target is to cut £18 billion from the projected expenditure by 2015 and most of this is going to happen between now and then. Only a small bit of that £18 billion has happened so far, mainly from the index change for uprating. The cuts come to an average of almost £6 billion between 2012/13 and 2014/15 and it shows up in the real terms forecast for working-age DWP benefit expenditure.
It's a point that has been made by others but I've only just unscrambled my brain on: cancelling the Work Programme would mean about a third of the cuts wouldn't have to happen. Soon the detailed Work Programme statistics which Chris Grayling had been making a lot of claims that were impossible to disprove because we couldn't see the data. will finally come out. I'm expecting the success of the contractors and therefore their payments up to now to be very poor. Definitely more than £6 billion of the allocated funds will be left untouched. If this turns out to be the case when the figures are published, they will have confirmed everything critics and committees have warned about: that the Work Programme is worse than nothing. Any rational minister would halt this nonsense. They'd even have had the foresight to not include allowances in the service contracts where they have to compensate the contractors, like the Flexible New Deal idiotically did.
One of the early gambits Grayling got in when he saw these in-house figures was that a substantial number of attached claimants are no longer on benefits. The question of whether they were actually in jobs was very carefully not at all asked by journalists in the slightest. They'd best at least make a start on his successor when the data is published.