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Universal credit

BRITAIN-POLITICS-CONSERVATIVES

Even Iain Duncan Smith’s critics can’t reject his welfare reforms

7 April 2014 18:18

Iain Duncan Smith’s speech today setting out the moral mission behind his welfare reforms (his series of interventions doing this was previewed in the Spectator at the start of this year)… Continue reading

40 Comments
Iain Duncan Smith on the Sunday Politics today. Photo: BBC.

Iain Duncan Smith ties himself into universal knots over welfare reform

9 March 2014 13:50

Will Universal Credit ever become universal and will the lowest paid still face an effective tax rate of a sometimes outrageous 76 per cent? Iain Duncan Smith took a grilling over… Continue reading

78 Comments
Archbishop Vincent Nichols. Image: Getty

Did an archbishop really call for more public spending in response to food bank usage?

18 February 2014 19:33

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has spent an awful lot of time since his recent interview with the Telegraph clarifying just what he meant when he said that the way… Continue reading

64 Comments
Iain Duncan Smith

Guinea-pigging, carpets and foreign language courses: the universal credit fog

3 February 2014 21:17

You can tell how little someone respects and admires someone by the number of times they say ‘with respect’. Based on the number of times Iain Duncan Smith and Robert… Continue reading

20 Comments
Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit project has become a circular firing squad. Photo: Getty Images.

Universal Credit is turning into an IT project disaster

10 December 2013 19:02

Universal Credit has replaced Labour’s NHS supercomputer as the ABC of how not to manage an IT project. Just six months after the hip Government Data Service outpost was brought… Continue reading

34 Comments
The Conservative Party Annual Conference

Pathfindering and lobster pots: IDS defends Universal credit

9 December 2013 22:01

If you’d judged the success of universal credit purely on Iain Duncan Smith’s tone at the Work and Pensions select committee this afternoon, you might conclude that things weren’t going… Continue reading

17 Comments
(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Number 10 defends IDS and universal credit

9 December 2013 12:32

It’s a bit pointless asking whether the Prime Minister has confidence in Iain Duncan Smith, so this morning his spokesman was asked a slightly different question: why does the Prime… Continue reading

21 Comments
Iain Duncan Smith campaigning on the Easterhouse estate, where in 2002 he was inspired to start his drive for reform of the welfare system. Picture: Getty.

Iain Duncan Smith: Universal credit plan is different

9 December 2013 8:56

Iain Duncan Smith is up before the Work and Pensions Committee this afternoon to talk about his department’s annual report. Doubtless the latest bad news on universal credit will crop… Continue reading

36 Comments
Times

Brits are not idle – they’re just taxed to death

4 December 2013 8:47

Today’s Times has a headline designed, I suspect, to make the blood boil. “Idle Britons are allowing Romanians to take jobs,” it says – paraphrasing the conclusion of Mariana Câmpeanu, Romania’s… Continue reading

82 Comments
Image: Getty

Same old ding-dong as Reeves and IDS face off for first time

14 October 2013 16:53

After insisting that her appointment in no way represented a ‘lurch to the left’ at the weekend by repeating the policy pronouncements that her predecessor was allowed to come out… Continue reading

67 Comments
Whitehall

Fixing the civil service

6 September 2013 12:35

Universal credit is having a bumpy ride: but whose fault is it? Yesterday’s Commons urgent question on the National Audit Office report turned into a bit of a blame game,… Continue reading

11 Comments
Image: Carla Millar

Liam Byrne’s vulture strategy

5 September 2013 20:45

David Aaronovitch’s furious Times column this morning described Ed Miliband as a vulture, swooping down on problems caused by this government rather than leading. If he wanted another example of… Continue reading

38 Comments
Iain Duncan Smith campaigning on the Easterhouse estate, where in 2002 he was inspired to start his drive for reform of the welfare system. Picture: Getty.

Iain Duncan Smith turns up the jargon on universal credit

5 September 2013 15:59

Iain Duncan Smith was in an aggressive mood when he appeared before MPs this morning to explain the latest awkward report on universal credit to the Commons. He combined his… Continue reading

13 Comments
British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

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

11 July 2013 17:06

‘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… Continue reading

42 Comments
The 'cap' on AME spending is a bold move, albeit one that might imperil other parts of the government's agenda.

Wriggle room welfare – 6 AME ‘cap’ observations

27 June 2013 15:53

The savings-hungry government has set its sights on welfare-related Annually Managed Expenditure (AME). At £183bn a year – it’s over half of all government AME spending. The state pension is… Continue reading

6 Comments
British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

Can any government really expect to carry out ambitious reform?

25 May 2013 18:13

That Universal Credit is one of the government projects at risk of failing is not a surprise, especially not if you’re a Spectator reader. We warned back in September 2012… Continue reading

9 Comments
p12-NHS-inside

Could a digital and more transparent NHS prevent another Mid Staffs scandal?

26 March 2013 19:28

Digital politics is all the rage. Take what Rachel Sylvester described in today’s Times as ‘digital Bennism’ — an online movement that is becoming increasingly influential to the Labour party’s… Continue reading

50 Comments
The Poles are the best immigrants any country could ask for. But why do so many still come in a recession? Because we still impose marginal tax rates of up to 100pc on our workers. Picture: Getty

Why the Poles keep coming

16 December 2012 12:26

Yes, Britain’s employment figures are strong but most of the rise in employment so far under this government is accounted for by foreign-born workers (as was 99pc of the rise… Continue reading

207 Comments
What would you like to ask IDS? Photo: Getty Images.

Any questions for Iain Duncan Smith?

9 October 2012 15:19

I’m interviewing Iain Duncan Smith today for a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference, hosted by the Centre for Social Justice. I will be able to grill him for… Continue reading

73 Comments
Iain Duncan Smith

Universal uncertainty

5 October 2012 13:15

Brushing aside recent criticism of his universal credit scheme, Iain Duncan Smith claimed that nothing now ‘demoralised’ him. After surviving two years of gruelling denigration as Conservative Party leader, he… Continue reading

12 Comments
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‘Denuded’ Work and Pensions committee sheds little light on Universal Credit

17 September 2012 20:22

The Work and Pensions Select Committee was much denuded this evening, chair Anne Begg told the guests: its membership had either been promoted in the reshuffle or had personal crises… Continue reading

3 Comments
The Universal Credit is supposed to streamline benefits from October 2013. Picture: Getty.

Briefing: Universal Credit

11 September 2012 13:45

MPs are due to debate the government’s plans for universal credit in the House of Commons this afternoon. The Opposition Day motion questions whether ministers have ‘failed to properly account… Continue reading

4 Comments