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Question of the Day

John Rentoul

dame anne begg 1 300x168 Question of the DayAsked of Iain Duncan Smith by Anne Begg, the Labour MP who chairs the Commons work and pensions committee:

The Secretary of State promised that Universal Credit would be digital by default. It isn’t. He promised that all new claims would be on Universal Credit by May 2014. They won’t. He then promised that 10 areas would be assessing the simplest claims by the end of October. They aren’t. So why should anyone believe him when he says that the delivery of Universal Credit is now on track?

As I said in my comment for Independent Voices on Duncan Smith’s embarrassment, the Labour front bench ought to be flaying this Government for its failures on welfare reform, the NHS and schools. And it isn’t.

Thanks to Andrew Sparrow for spotting this one. As he says, “It’s a textbook example of how to ask a hostile Commons question. It’s clear, pithy, factual – and impossible to answer.”

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  • Ciaron Goggins

    In God’s own county of Antrim natives are knocked off the dole to make way for two million Poles. Another great ZaNuLabour idea eh?

  • tykejim

    You forgot the failure on the economy.

  • bugedone

    So these disastrous and foolish structural reforms of welfare and health you spoke of in your Independent Voices column: would they be the ones you castigated Labour for for opposing as daft and over-blown distractions?

  • reformist lickspittle

    A very good question.

    As they sometimes like to shout in the HoC – “answer! answer!” ;)

  • greggf

    IDS must be reflecting on the poisoned chalice his job has become.
    The recent Institute of Fiscal studies report (Nov 2012) found that over £200 billion was spent in 2010 – 2011 on Benefits, and some 30 million people were in receipt of some of it.
    I’m not going to bore readers with the maths, its simple enough, but each one of those recipients must, one way or another, have received about £6600… Which makes the average family of four in receipt of £26000 and change per annum.
    Arguments about the IT scams …er sorry, new programs must seem somewhat redundant, but one thing is certain the title “Universal Credit” is spot on!


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