- The employment minister, Andrew Smith, has slammed attacks on the Government's New Deal made in a pamphlet published by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank.
The New Deal, part of the Government's programme to get the young unemployed into jobs and training, was launched in February with a high profile advertising campaign by St Luke's.
But the Centre for Policy Studies claims in its leaflet that each new job secured by the New Deal has cost £11,333.
Smith hit back: "The costs claimed in the pamphlet are a cynical fabrication which bear no relation to reality. The true cost of the jobs secured so far will be around £1000 per job."
He added: "It is early days for the New Deal and the Government has always been properly cautious about claiming too much. But, in fact, there are positive signs that the New Deal is making a difference."
The four 70 second launch ads each showed a self-made businessman leaping up from his seat on crowded railway train to explain to fellow passengers why his company had signed up for the New Deal. Hidden cameras recorded the passengers' discomfort at this unusual behaviour.