There are still conflicting
reports, but Michael Crick and The Times intimate that a deal has been struck: IDS
has beaten the recalcitrant Treasury over his £9bn universal benefit reform, with David Cameron’s express help.
As Frank Field put it on Sky News, IDS’ plan is ‘good for the country, good for the taxpayer and good for those dependent on welfare.’ Field gave no clue as to the final outcome
of this battle, but victory for IDS would be a crucial moment in public service reform.
If Crick and the Times are right then this is obviously fantastic news ahead of the Tory conference, where I feel David Cameron should explain to the country beyond the hall what positives a Tory government offers besides sound
accounting. If you recall his passion when talking about poverty and welfare dependency last year, then I’ve no doubt that Cameron will deliver. It bodes well for an important week, as, for
the first time in 14 years, the Tories go to conference in government.
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