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Govt's Work Programme not working as hoped

It was created to help unemployed people secure long-term jobs. But today the Government had to admit its Work Programme is not working as well as it had hoped.

So far the programme has a 3.53 percent success rate, not the 5.5 percent target it set itself 18 months ago.

The scheme involves giving taxpayers' money to businesses and charities to hire people.

Labour has called it a miserable failure.

  1. Libby Wiener

Downing Street: Too early to judge Work Programme

Downing Street has hit back at criticism of the Work Programme after figures released today showed the government had failed to meet its success rate target of 5%.

He said it was too early to judge the programme, adding: "This is only the first phase of the programme. We are only part way through the first two-year cycle."

What is clear is the Work Programme is being successful in getting people off benefits. Fifty-six per cent of people on the programme were off benefits.

– Prime Minister's spokesman

The figures published today show 3.5% of participants were in jobs after six months, that's less - according to Treasury estimates - than would be the case if the market was left to itself.

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Government defends itself over child poverty

The Government has defended its record on child poverty.

We are tackling child poverty by extending free early education, investing to help families with childcare costs and introducing universal credit which will lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty.

Work is the best route out of poverty which is why the Work Programme will ensure that people receive the personalised support they need.

All children from the poorest families are entitled to receive a free hot meal at school every day. We have launched a review to make sure that healthy and nutritious school food is available to all children.

– Government spokesman