The value of nothing

Jane Mansour international payment by results expert argues that much of the current debate about the Work Programme and the justice re-offending commissioning confuses cost with value. Chris Grayling has described many of his reforms in both employment and justice as “delivering value for money for the taxpayer”. It is difficult, however, to find evidence of the consideration of ‘value’ in recent and planned changes. Instead, as discussions about public services become increasingly polarised, cost and value are conflated. The nuance of what those terms mean and how they are measured is lost.