SKWAWKBOX

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Last week in the Commons Esther McVey, Under-Secretary of State for Work & pensions, made a startling and clearly unwilling admission: that 200,000 more children would be forced into poverty by the decision to limit benefit increases to 1% for the next 3 years:

We estimate that the uprating measures in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 will result in around an extra 200,000 children being deemed by this measure to be in relative income poverty compared to uprating benefits by CPI.

Of course, being a Tory minister – and it is such an inconvenient thing to have to admit, so who can blame her – she couldn’t just provide a straight answer, and went into convoluted detail about why it wasn’t ‘real‘ poverty and how the government was looking for a ‘better’ way to measure it (presumably one that doesn’t look quite so damning for her party):

The Government strongly…

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Ministers 10/01/2013 Department for Work and Pensions Caxton House Tothill Street London SW1H 9DA
Dear Sir,
How much more evidence do you want before instructing the CPS that you are ready to proceed with a prosecution for Fraud & Perverting the course of justice, racketeering as well as numerous other charges against A4E under the 1968 Theft Act .
You currently have enough evidence to proceed ; Currently a claimant working on the side who is identified at his place of work , corroborated by others and with a paper trail established and all monies recovered by DWP is normally still deemed to be in the public interest to prosecute for the overpayment or irregularity. There is generally sufficient evidence to prosecute and thousands are each year under these conditions .
This is from A4E auditors; the auditors discovered that in offices across the country some of A4e’s best recruiters were claiming for putting people into jobs that did not exist or did not qualify for a job outcome payment from the government, and fabricating paperwork to back up their claims. They found that A4e staff thought there was “nothing wrong” with filling in forms that should have been completed by the employer for the claim to be valid. The auditors concluded that 4% of the claims they examined were “potentially fraudulent” or included “irregular activity” and another 12% were classified as containing “reputational” or other risks. They said that they could only be sure that A4e was entitled to the money the company claimed in 70% of the cases.In one case, fraud was proven following a criminal trial; in four inquiries, there was evidence of irregularities but it was not pursued further through the courts after money was returned;
Two cases? Both with almost identical features of greed and fraud except most of the wholesale theft by A4E isn’t recoverable { a prosecution should naturally flow from this state inorder to allow the state to claim reinstatement of the stolen money} . Public interest considerations have been interpreted differently , subverted with two totally different outcomes.
Not just one Whistle blower has come forward but dozens of employees of this welfare scrounging leeching outfit , including a senior auditor with A4E. Former employees have also made statements and admitted their roles in the systematic, routine alteration of documents which provided the basis for invoices submitted to the DWP for payment According to the leaked confidential document obtained by Newsnight, in July 2009 A4e’s own audit and risk department examined the work of its top 20 recruiters, looking at 20% of their work, which equated to examining the files of 224 clients. The jobs A4e was arranging were supposed to last at least 13 weeks and employers needed to sign a form confirming the job was real and that the employee would be working a minimum of 16 hours a week.
What will it take you to act? Emma Harrison signs a confession posts it to your department?
If we are realistic you will not seek to be recouping the millions of welfare money that was misappropriated by this individual or the company she headed A4E. You are in collusion with other ministers and civil servants to suppress the criminality of this welfare leeching outfit for political gain.
Margaret Hodge MP reinforces this when she states the DWP to be ‘hiding back-to-work fraud from taxpayers’.
The Government has claimed that refusing to publish details of more than 100 investigations into potential fraud in the back-to-work industry was not in the “public interest”. Hodge called for the DWP to explain why the police were not brought in on all occasions when evidence of irregularities was found, when public money is involved.
She states ‘I find it astonishing that the DWP does not call in the police to investigate all of these incidents. This is no longer a one-off,” . The company is chaired by Emma Harrison, who was appointed by the prime minister in 2010 to help get troubled families into work. Its five shareholders were paid £11m in dividends last year, of which Harrison received £8.6m. This Individual derived no other income than that from the DWP contract then splashed out on a stately home with sixty bedrooms and extensive grounds.
Do you think you should personally write to all the unemployed youngsters unable to find work living in hopeless wastelands like some council estates in Newcastle or Liverpool and explain that their money that was earmarked to secure their return to work or college / training has been siphoned off by gangsters drip fed on welfare money . They may well take comfort that the welfare money set aside for them funded a country house set in palatial gardens costing millions.
The widely accepted rate of securing employment for these workless individuals was less than 3.5%
9 March 2012 – DWP Statement on A4e fraud allegation
This is the DWP getting tough on an organisation that has thousands of victims who were short changed and had their allowance stolen by misrepresenting facts about their status in the employment market . Thousands of victims and the welfare budget looted of almost 200million a year and here’s what the DWP say ;
This week we have been made aware of an allegation of attempted fraud in relation to a Mandatory Work Activity contract with A4e. We have begun a formal, immediate investigation of this allegation. As a result of this new allegation DWP has immediately commenced its own independent audit of all our commercial relationships with A4e. We have required A4e to make available all documentation which our auditors may require and provide full access to interview any A4e employees. This is separate from the independent review of internal controls which A4E has previously announced.
Transparency? Why is it necessary to have to file for FOI for information regarding the scale and number and details of the audits ? not in the public interest ? why are they hidden ?
Official DWP Transparency is key to improve Public Services. Public reporting of data and promote higher quality and more efficient services, choice and accountability.
DWP really takes the gloves off !
Statement by DWP; ‘The Chief Executive of A4e was informed of this at a meeting with a senior DWP official earlier today. We have made it absolutely clear to A4e that we take this matter very seriously, and that if at any point during the audit or thereafter we find evidence of systemic fraud in DWP’s contracts with A4e we will not hesitate to immediately terminate our commercial relationship’.
How nice terminate relationship – what about the DWP claimant on the building site making tea nabbed red handed? Prosecute him or terminate the relationship?
There is a well-established huge media interest and an irrefutable public interest issue here –the sophisticated systemic theft of welfare money and a crime that just wont go away – so when will you act in the public interest and pursue A4E with charges of Wholesale fraud, Racketeering and perverting the course of justice ?