The astronomical scale of the amount of benefit money being lost through fraud and error is vividly brought home to taxpayers by the astonishing fact that the figures are rounded to the nearest half-a-billion pounds.
The Department for Education and Skills looks to be losing ground in its battle against truancy. Having remained at the same level for many years, the level of truancy has suddenly increased - to over 0.8% of school days.
The ultimate success of Skills for Life will depend on the 'hard to reach' being persuaded of the benefits of gaining qualifications. To this end, it is a matter of grave concern that those with the greatest need have been getting the worst quality teaching.
This report raises a serious question mark over the amount of efficiency savings the government will achieve. This is a high risk program. Only 50 out of 300 projects have got to deliver 80 percent of the total savings.
The motive of giving the administrators a chance, however small, to sell the business was understandable -- but the blunt truth is that there was no real prospect of selling a going concern and taxpayers did not get value for their money.