But this isn't to say that the Work Programme will be easy to implement, nor as successful as the government hopes. When Labour experimented with its own programmes, under James Purnell, the welfare-to-work companies often fell well short of both expectations and their contractual obligations. The contracts were too optimistic about what could be achieved, the companies claimed. You're under-performing, the politicians replied. And although Chris Grayling is confident that he has the balance of payments and results more adequately attuned this time, there is always potential for more of the same this time around. The contracts will be regularly reviewed, we're assured. But the real test will be what happens to those companies, if any, who don't meet the terms of success.
And then there's the fact that this is only one fraction of the sprawling welfare equation. We shall have to wait until after this Parliament, and the complete introduction of IDS's Universal Credit, for the rest to be filled in. In the meantime, a workfare system that encourages employment will be up against a benefits system that discourages it. And, according to the workfare types I speak to, the latter all too often wins out. So while the revolution may have started today, it could take a half-decade — or more — for the full results to take hold.