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  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.