X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Iain Duncan Smith denies threat to universal credit

10 September 2012

6:03 PM

10 September 2012

6:03 PM

Allowing Iain Duncan Smith to dig his heels in at the Work and Pensions department in last week’s reshuffle sent out two messages. The first was that the Prime Minister is not as authoritative as he should be: telling someone that you’d rather they moved to one department, but that it’s ok for them to remain where they are isn’t exactly ‘butch’, to borrow the PM’s own favourite word. The second is that the Prime Minister was worried about the future of the DWP’s reforms, and was keen to put someone else in charge of implementing the behemoth computer system for the universal credit, even though events meant he was unable to do so.

Liam Byrne prodded Duncan Smith on this today at Work and Pensions questions. He told the Commons:

‘It is quite clear that the Treasury thinks there will be a state of chaos around Universal Credit. The Cabinet Office thinks there is chaos, Number 10 thinks there is chaos. Surely it is time he told the House exactly what is going on, and put before us the business case that he is trying to keep secret from this House, or is there something that he is trying to hide?’

[Alt-Text]


The Secretary of State replied that he had ‘nothing to hide here’, that the universal credit would not cost more than £2.5 billion, and that ‘we will deliver universal credit on time and on budget as it is right now’. He also told Byrne that he had heard him describe the reform as ‘a car crash in the making’ at the weekend, pointing out that ‘I need no advice from the man who sat there and produced the biggest car crash in economic history’.

Labour knows that there is meat to be gained from stalking universal credit from now on, and is holding an opposition day debate tomorrow on that subject. While Duncan Smith doesn’t need to take advice from Byrne, he needs to be wary of refusing to take advice from those around him. His greatest failing would be to be too starry-eyed about the good principles of his reforms to accept that there are real threats to their success.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close