22 Wednesday Feb 2012
Posted cynicismin Emma Harrison, the woman appointed by David Cameron to help get tax payers’ money off benefits and into her own pocket, has issued a statement explaining why she has decided to pay herself a dividend of £8.6m siphoned off from her firm’s lucrative “workfare” contracts with the government.
Ms Harrison is the chairman of A4e (it means Ample for Emma), which specialises in that very modern practice known as “welfare to pocket”, which means her company is paid to reduce the amount of money the government spends on jobless people by giving it to herself instead.
A4e’s only income comes from public welfare contracts from the Department for Work and Pensions, worth an estimated £3bn-£5bn in total as part of the coalition’s new work programme, under which private companies are paid loads of cash to do nothing, while the unemployed have to work as slaves for free.
But this week, as officers from Thames Valley police raided A4e’s offices in Slough as part of a fraud inquiry, the company was forced to defend its record.
A spokesperson for the company explained:
A4e has always taken very seriously our role in giving support to unemployed families, some of whom are in desperate situations, mainly by forcing them to take jobs as slaves and spending millions of scarce taxpayers’ money on big houses and holidays for ourselves.On the A4e website, the promotional blurb characterises what the company does – claiming they are in the simple business of: ”improving people’s lives – especially our own“.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister, David Cameron, explained why the coalition government had decided to give away so much taxpayers’ money to private individuals:
When Labour was in power they thought the solution to every problem was to just throw taxpayers’ money at it. We, on the other hand, realise that the solution to every problem is to throw taxpayers’ money at private companies instead. Especially the ones run by our friends.