Pathways to Work was aimed at cutting the number of sickness benefit claimants, which has remained stubbornly high at nearly 2.6 million.
Through the scheme, private firms were paid to find work for those on benefits.
However, the report said that they “seriously underperformed” and had lower success rates than the state-owned Jobcentre Plus.
In all, between 2005 and 2009, the number of people on incapacity benefits reduced by just 125,000. This means that the cost of getting them back to work was at least £6,000 each.
I know this isn\’t an entirely proper comparison but when government goes out to \”create\” jobs they tend to come in at a couple of hundreds thousand £s each. So £6 grand is something of a bargain.
The real problem with this figure though is that we don\’t actually know whether it\’s anywhere near correct. For we just don\’t know (the programme and the statistics not having been set up to find out, ie, no control group) how many people really were put back to work by the programme.
If it was £6,000 each then that\’s, as I say and compared to other job creation schemes, great. Very roughly speaking spend one year\’s benefits to get people off benefits for life and back into the labour force where they\’re earning?
Sure, sounds good to me. And we can add those intangibles of course, the effect on the people themselves, not rotting away on what they\’re given from the pauper box but able to take control of their lives through earning and spending their own money.
Of course, whether this is the best way of doing it is entirely another matter. But on the face of it, with what we\’ve been given here, it certainly doesn\’t look like a bad idea.