Universal Credit cut plan will kill Tory story of being workers’ party

In the words of (among other Tories) George Osborne, let us be clear: Universal Credit is an Unmitigated Catastrophe.

It appears to be designed, not to help people into worthwhile, high-paying work but to lock them into poverty by ensuring they never earn enough not to be penalised by the system – for failing to earn enough.

Iain Duncan Smith has claimed he may resign over George Osborne’s plan to grab cash from UC. This should be no surprise because the two have been enemies for years.

His departure would be welcome but would do nothing to end the suffering of the millions he has parked in benefit dependency – or the millions more to which Osborne intends to do the same.

It is unfortunate that Labour has not taken the opportunity to attack the very existence of Universal Credit, which has cost something like half a billion pounds, according to some commentators.

Meanwhile, Tories like Owen Paterson – of all people – have attacked Osborne’s plan, saying it “kills stone dead the narrative that we are on the side of people who work”.

Nice of him to admit that it was just a story. It also shows that the Tories have painted themselves into a corner:

If they cut tax credits, they attack people who work; if they change Universal Credit, they attack people who work. So ends the “narrative” of the Conservatives as the “party of the workers”.

A plan being considered by George Osborne to reduce the generosity of universal credit could cost some families more than £700 a year, Labour have said.

Owen Smith, the shadow work and pensions secretary, produced the figures in response to reports that Osborne is considering changing the taper rate that applies under universal credit in the hope of saving around £1.5bn a year.

Currently it is set at 65% – meaning that for every extra £1 claimants earn above a threshold, they lose 65p – but Osborne is looking at a proposal to increase this to 75%. He needs the money to help fund measures to reduce the impact of the tax credit cuts that were rejected by the House of Lords.

But raiding the universal credit budget is currently the subject of a fierce Whitehall battle because Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, wants to keep taper rates as they are.

Source: Labour hits out at Osborne’s planned cuts to universal credit | Politics | The Guardian

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11 thoughts on “Universal Credit cut plan will kill Tory story of being workers’ party

  1. Bill Kruse

    This gives IDS the out he needs. He can quit amidst much theatre and claim forever after that he’s the frustrated reformer. His future will be assured.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Perhaps David Cameron should refuse to accept his resignation – in response to the Gentleman Ranker’s refusal to be moved in the reshuffle of 2012 or 13, whenever it was.

    2. Jackie Cairns

      This will be his way out, He knows he’s days are numbered, and the investigation into the abuse of vunerable and disabled people is picking up pace. Couldn’t be a better reason for him to go now. Thankyou i’ve f***ed up the welfare system. BYE BYE.

  2. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7)

    If the media reports are credible, Iain Duncan Smith is using the threat of his personal resignation to prevent George Osborne from raiding funds from the Universal Credit program. It’s a very serious situation because increasing the taper to 75 percent would fatally undermine Universal Credit and would be a major disincentive for claimants to work or earn more.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes; but, as I said before, the alternative appears to be Osborne raiding tax credits – which would be a major disincentive for claimants to work or earn more.
      They’ve painted themselves into a nice, tight corner.

  3. Brian

    Comments are exactly as the tories would wish, in the wrong direction.

    The misinformation (another story) is placed to illustrate one IDS as ‘the good guy’ while shifting the burden of ‘rascle’ up the tree. It also serves to soften the impact of the inevitable reining in of UC, or any other alternative cuts.

  4. mrmarcpc

    Both Osporn and IDS should go now, all they’ve done is make a bloody mess of everything, vote of no confidence petition needs to be made for these two halfwits!

Comments are closed.