The Department of Work and Pension’s mistreatment of benefits claimants is well documented. But an issue less often explored is the way in which large companies profit off the misery of unemployed people.
Welfare-to-Work companies are raking in tens of millions from lucrative DWP Work Programme contracts — and these contracts are so profitable that companies are even spending millions just for a chance at getting them. Most recently, Work Programme providers have also started snatching up offender management, healthcare and social work contracts. In the very near future, the most important aspects of our lives will be governed by these four or five companies.
A Freedom of Information request to the DWP revealed that they paid Ingeus approximately £160 million from April 2013 to March 2014, and paid a further £80m during the six months from April 2014 to October 2014. The DWP initially refused to release these figures on the ground that this constitutes “commercially sensitive information,” but changed their minds on appeal.