Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Ian Duncan-Smith regularly claims to have overwhelming public support for his welfare reforms, which might well be true, but if it is these opinions have not been based on the full story. So of course you will elicit support if you just ask the following questions: Q: Do you want to reduce the overall cost of benefit payments through improved efficiency? A: Damned right I do. Q: Do you want to focus on those with the greatest need? A: Yes, they deserve it Q: Do you want to stop benefit fraud? A: As quickly as possible. Q: Do you want to wheedle out those lazy so-and-sos who just don’t want to work? A: Yes, it’s high time they pulled their weight. Q: Do you want to see more efficient DWP administration? A: What do you think? Q: Well we have a plan that will do all of this, so do you want us to implement it? A: With all possible speed! But there will be consequences, which even if not thought through initially, are more than apparent now. So an open & honest supplement to the above would be: Well, unfortunately the plan is a bit rough and ready so, Q: Are you happy that we will make tens of thousands of decision errors and stop benefit payments whilst they are sorted out by HMCTS at huge cost to the taxpayer? This will create many months of financial hardship for those affected. A: Hang on a minute; I don’t like the sound of this. Q: Do you mind that in thousands of cases these errors will directly result in people’s health deteriorating and quite a few will die. A: In that case, no sorry the plan is not good enough – think again! I wonder how much of the support would fall away if he just told the whole story and made it clear what “price” he regards as acceptable – just how many deaths does would it take for him to change his approach? He really should be made to address this matter or state clearly that he thinks it is irrelevant. The end DOES NOT always justify the means.