Oh well, it’s only government money after all

The government’s £400million “troubled families” programme did not have any “significant or systematic impact” on improving the lives of those it was supposed to turn around, an official report has found.

The report, which was published last night, found that families who were on the programme were no more likely to find jobs, stop claiming benefits or improve the school attendance of their children.

It said: “Our analysis found no impact on these outcomes attributable to the programme, with observed outcomes for the Troubled Families Programme families being very similar to the outcomes for a matched comparison group of families.

Carruthers? Dump a bit more bullshit on the magic money tree would you? We’re going to need a larger crop.

14 thoughts on “Oh well, it’s only government money after all”

  1. As Uncle Joe used to say:


    Applicable to both the troubled families and their rich Ministry benefactors.

  2. “It found the programme had no impact on the proportion of families who claimed unemployment benefit, nor on the prevalence of criminal activity.”

    What a suprise.

  3. Tim, you’re assuming the purpose of the programme was to get these people to ‘find jobs, stop claiming benefits or improve the school attendance of their children’.

    Maybe the purpose of the programme was to provide employment opportunities for civil servants and Quangos?

  4. Just how deranged with your own indestructible sense of indispensability do you have to be to carry on regardless having squandered £400m? Wouldn’t a normal, well-adjusted person either take themselves into a room with a pistol and a revolver, or go and work in a soup kitchen (being the only employment for which they’re suitable, and to atone for their wrongs)?

    £400m is over £6 for everyone. 19 year-old muggers are gaoled for less.

  5. JuliaM

    Spot on as always – such jobholders are one of the three key pillars of Labour party support……

  6. “Jonathan Portes, one of the authors of the report, wrote that the programme was a “perfect case study of how the manipulation and misrepresentation of statistics by civil servants and politicians led to bad policy making and the wasting of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. “

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Maybe the purpose of the programme was to provide employment opportunities for civil servants and Quangos?”

    I think those are side benefits. Programmes like these provide politicians with an easy answer to the “something must be done” to get them through to the next election. The fact that they always fall prey to producer capture is of no interest to them as they will be gone when the apparent failure eventually comes to light.

    How much kudos did Cameron get for setting up the programme and claiming a success? How many times did he answer a tough question with “troubled families programme”? Where is he now?

  8. Meanwhile, at the ‘Guardian’, they know the real answer – these families weren’t troubled at all!


    “As far back as February 2012, I explained the fundamental flaw in the analysis: that the government was taking a set of families who were undeniably poor and disadvantaged, and redefining them – without a shred of evidence – as dysfunctional and antisocial.”

    It’s always telling when you see this added:

    “This article reflects the author’s personal views only”

  9. If memory serves Princess Toni Bliar was the first to moot this type of shit, declaring in his supreme narcissistic, psychopathic arrogance that kids from such families should be forcibly removed to state care.

    Thus guaranteeing them lives of crime and or sexual abuse.

  10. Hats off to the govt for allowing the data to be gathered and analysed, and then published. If all govt programmes were subject to such scrutiny we’d all be better off.

  11. dearieme: “hats off to the govt …”

    I was going to give that a “plus one”. But on this site, I never know if there is some dark sarcasm that I’m missing. Assuming there isn’t…


  12. £400 million is nothing in the Government grand scheme of things, what gets me is the ‘Control Group’.
    Since when has the Government ever set up a test to see if the money they spent was spent wisely.
    The normal course is spend a metric fuckton of money, spend some more, argue amongst themselves a bit, spend some more and then write it off with ‘lessons learned’.

    This was designed to fail from the beginning.

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