30 July 2010


When a politician says that he intends to simplify matters, don't believe him. What you and I mean by simplification is an alien concept to the political classes. The Independent reports:

Mr Duncan Smith will suggest replacing the 51 benefits currently available to the unemployed, as well as income-related benefits for the low-paid, with a single benefit covering all people of working age. It would also incorporate the cash currently paid out under Gordon Brown's flagship tax credits scheme, which would effectively be abolished.

Payments would take into account claimants' circumstances, such as numbers of children and housing needs, and could be adjusted monthly using new computer software being developed by the Government.
In order to take account of the differing needs of those who qualify, that simple single benefit will be so complicated as to be unworkable, so that at least half of the beneficiaries will be badly let down by the system, being given less of a benefit than that to which they are entitled.

And doncha just love that phrase "using new computer software being developed by the Government"? This means that the software will not only be late in arriving but also that it will also cost five times more than the initial estimate and, crucially, that it will not work properly. Result: chaos all round.

Will they ever learn?

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