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

Why Universal Credit delay is a good thing, not a political failure

11 July 2013

5:06 PM

11 July 2013

5:06 PM

‘Iain Duncan Smith must now ask himself if he is fit for purpose.’ That’s what Liam Byrne thinks of the Work and Pensions Secretary’s admission that the roll-out of Universal Credit is being delayed. The original plan was for all new claims for out-of-work support to go into the universal credit rather than the current benefits system from October 2013. But a written ministerial statement yesterday said the pilots of the new benefit will be extended to six hub JobCentres instead. Labour says the ‘we have final confirmation that the welfare revolution we were promised has collapsed’.

If deep down you don’t want universal credit to succeed, then you must be quite chuffed with the slowing of the timetable. But its supporters should be happy, too. Why? Well, it shows that the government really is piloting these serious and major reforms, rather than pretending it has made sure they work before rolling them out nationwide. Often pilots are rarely treated as anything other than a box-ticking exercise: indeed, one of the main problems with the reassessment of those on incapacity benefit is that lessons were not learned from the original pilots under the Labour government. But in this case, there clearly are glitches.

An opposition politician will naturally think ‘aha! glitches are good news for my universal-credit-is-failing narrative’ and rub his hands with glee. A responsible minister will think about the consequences of arrogantly pursuing a timetable just to rob his opponents of the opportunity to say the reform is failing. Real failure, meanwhile, would be a speedy nationwide rollout that ignores the glitches. These are benefits that are paid to people who have nothing else to pay for their food, rent or electricity. By all means slow the changes down if it means avoiding catastrophe.

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