“In September they [our old friends the DWP] were telling us everything was great then too: so either they were lying then or they are lying now or they have been lying all along… millions of people could face misery.”
An even-handed appraisal of the precarious project we know as Universal Credit – and of the position of its architect, Iain Duncan Smith. It’s a quick read and I recommend it. Thanks to the Skwawkbox blog for finding it.

cartesian product

Universal Credit – the amalgamation of various welfare payments into one unified entitlement which will vary in “real time” as claimants’ circumstances change – is at the very heart of the British government‘s plans to reform the welfare state. The idea is that the welfare system will “make work pay”. Once that meant it would have a shallow taper – in other words, the loss of benefit as claimants got work would be reduced: today that aim seems less clearly expressed, but that is another issue I won’t go into here.

Universal Credit is also the world’s biggest ever “agile development” software project and a massive financial and social (and hence political) risk for the government. Unless delivered on time and on budget then the consequences are grave – some of the most vulnerable people in society could be left literally destitute, with all that entails…

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