A4e is another example of Fat Cats getting richer at the poor's expense
Shame on these supertsars like Emma Harrison who milk our millions
While millions of mums are trying to figure out how to fill the car AND feed the kids, Derbyshire mother-of-four Emma Harrison paid herself a nice little dividend last year of £8.6million.
But that money didn’t come from the usual suspects – she isn’t employed by a banking giant or a privatised energy company. That money came from you, me and every other cash-strapped taxpayer in the country.
As our Government-appointed “families champion” Mrs Harrison and her company A4e has earned hundreds of millions of pounds of public money.
You might have seen her smiley face and shiny hairdo on programmes The Secret Millionaire and Make Me A Million. She was also awarded a CBE in 2010 for her community work and lauded as some sort of saint by her oily champion David Cameron.
Now it turns out the tsar he employed to “improve people’s lives” appears to mainly have been interested in improving her own. And how.
All that lovely cash has paid for a Grade II mansion in Derbyshire with a swimming pool and 100 acres of land. While millions of families can barely afford heating this winter, Emma Harrison has been riding out the Age of Austerity in five-star luxury.
You’d almost understand it if A4e had magically sorted out “broken Britain”. But A4e’s track record in getting people out of the welfare trap and into paid work has been described as “abysmal”. Former Work and Pensions Minister Margaret Hodge even went so far as to describe Harrison’s dividend as “ripping off the State” and has urged ministers to suspend all work with A4e.
Now four ex-employees at her company are at the centre of a series of fraud investigations. But none of this has stopped A4e from being named this week as the preferred bidder for a £15million Government contract to rehabilitate prisoners in London. Though, as this Government appears to endorse huge rewards for total failure, where’s the surprise in that?
Look at RBS, which again paid bonuses, despite losses doubling to £2bn last year. Or thieving energy giants Centrica and Scottish Power who have been robbing customers blind to make £3.5bn profit. Hard-working people are hammered with pay freezes, lay-offs and benefits cuts while fatcats keep getting richer.
Emma Harrison is a disgraceful example of how fatcat culture has been allowed to run rampant, with none of the controls, checks and balances that ordinary people face every day. Yesterday she stepped down as chairman of A4e having already been shamed into quitting her Government post.
Companies like hers must be stopped from ripping off the public purse.
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