Kickstart | More failure, less accountability

This weeks Daily Mirror covers the evolving mess that is Kickstart – the Government’s £2bn flagship scheme to help young people who are out of work.

Of course you read it all here first:

We are still not allowed to join Kickstart, and I believe that thousands of other small businesses are in the same position. DWP refuse to reveal why we aren’t allowed to join, nor how many other small businesses have been rejected. DWP are fighting all the way to the Information Commissioners Office to avoid revealing why.

Dan Hodges in todays Daily Mail (I’m not going to link it) covers the climate of paranoia in Government about leaks , widespread refusal to release information through FOIAs, and a concerted effort to make Departments less transparent and less accountable. Which in turn leave to more scandals, and more leaks and more revelations.

The 90s were an era of Tory sleaze with every week bringing a new story. In reality the sleaze started early – the really sleazy characters – Archer, Aitken, etc. were brought in by Thatcher not Major. It wasn’t however until Black Wednesday that people started to pay attention. Right now people aren’t really listening too hard to the sleaze stories, they are too busy queueing for a beer garden. But when the Black Wednesday moment happens, all of these stories will be right in the public eye.

The terrible thing about the Kickstart mess is that it was completely avoidable. The last Labour Government ran an almost identical scheme which was scrapped by George Osborne. All that had to happen was to re-brand the succesful scheme and get it running again

This, however, would have required admitting that Osborne was wrong, and Ministerial egos wouldn’t allow that.

The scheme should have been available to help the 2020 cohort of school leavers, graduates, and the young people who bore the brunt of redundancies. Instead we got Ministers doing photo-ops in hoodies and another massively expensive failure

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