The scale of the DWP’s infiltration by the private sector is revealed in a list of the top 100 suppliers to the department in 2009–10 who, between them, walked away with almost £4.6 billion of public funds.
At the top of the list is a company few will ever have heard of, property management company Telereal Trillium who received a staggering £783 million of tax-payer cash.
Next in line was American computer giants Hewlett Packard, who took almost £657 million out of the department.
Further down the list at number six, job brokers A4E walked away with over £150 million of public money, even though the Public Accounts Committee reported last month that A4E had:
“achieved on average less than half what they promised in the contracts they signed with the Department. Against an average target of 36% of participants into work, A4E has to date found work for 15% of mandatory participants.”
Is it any wonder that the owners of these companies suddenly end up in multi-million pound mansions which the disabled and vulnerable are taking their lives in desperation and despair?
Equally dismaying for many claimants will be the discovery that Atos Origin also pocketed over £150 million from the public purse In Atos’ case the cash is for carrying out medicals whose findings are overturned in over 50% of appeals relating to incapacity benefit and over 40% of appeals relating to employment
and support allowance.
Sadly, ministers planning to slash public spending are unlikely to be looking here for savings when it is so much easier to simply take cash from sick and disabled claimants instead.