Universal credit

Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions arrives at Downing Street on June 30, 2015 in London, England.

If Iain Duncan Smith resigns over Osborne’s strivers tax, he’ll endanger his own legacy

7 November 2015 14:57

Yesterday, the Daily Telegraph disclosed that George Osborne was planning to open a second front in his rather bizarre confrontation…

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Does George Osborne really want to make himself the scourge of the strivers?

6 November 2015 11:59

Without George Osborne, we’d probably be living under Prime Minister Ed Miliband right now. His value to the government goes…

Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions arrives at Downing Street on June 30, 2015 in London, England.

Labour defaults to Universal Credit attack at welfare questions

7 September 2015 18:03

Labour has had a difficult summer over welfare, so it’s no surprise its frontbench played it safe at Work and Pensions questions today.…

Members of the Shadow Cabinet (L) listen as Ed Miliband (R), the leader of the Labour Party, launches his party's general election manifesto in the Old Granada Studios in Manchester, Northern England on April 13, 2015.

Ten things you need to know about Labour’s manifesto

13 April 2015 15:45

Labour has launched its election manifesto in Manchester today, entitled ‘Britain can be better’. The document (pdf here) includes some…

Image: Getty.

George Osborne’s press conference leaves questions unanswered

7 April 2015 12:29

This is supposed to be the week when people start thinking about the General Election. George Osborne certainly thinks voters…

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Labour’s weak welfare attack leaves Tories to chant tribal slogans in Commons

26 January 2015 16:55

Today’s Work and Pensions Questions was taken almost exclusively by Esther McVey – to the extent that when Steve Webb…

Ravenscraig Steel Works - shortly before it closed in the mid-1990s (Elliott Simpson) / (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Scottish jobs miracle is an argument for Union, not independence

17 September 2014 19:09

One of the more bizarre aspects of the Scottish independence debate is the idea that UK welfare reform somehow doesn’t…

Unemployment Figures Set To Rise Further In UK

Universal Credit ‘hasn’t been signed off’ – what does that mean?

8 July 2014 8:57

Is Universal Credit progressing as well as it should? Yesterday Sir Bob Kerslake, who is not consistently helpful to political…

British Secretary of State for Work and

The conservative case against Iain Duncan Smith

30 June 2014 18:04

Labour held a debate on Iain Duncan Smith’s stewardship of the welfare state today. Tory MPs backed their man, as…

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We get few answers from the Work and Pensions grudge match

23 June 2014 17:41

Departmental questions have, by this stage of the parliament, all developed their own characters. There is the colourful combat of…


Even Iain Duncan Smith’s critics can’t reject his welfare reforms

7 April 2014 18:18

Iain Duncan Smith’s speech today setting out the moral mission behind his welfare reforms (his series of interventions doing this…

Iain Duncan Smith on the Sunday Politics today. Photo: BBC.

Iain Duncan Smith ties himself into universal knots over welfare reform

9 March 2014 13:50

Will Universal Credit ever become universal and will the lowest paid still face an effective tax rate of a sometimes…

Archbishop Vincent Nichols. Image: Getty

Did an archbishop really call for more public spending in response to food bank usage?

18 February 2014 19:33

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has spent an awful lot of time since his recent interview with the Telegraph clarifying…

Iain Duncan Smith

Guinea-pigging, carpets and foreign language courses: the universal credit fog

3 February 2014 21:17

You can tell how little someone respects and admires someone by the number of times they say ‘with respect’. Based…

Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit project has become a circular firing squad. Photo: Getty Images.

Universal Credit is turning into an IT project disaster

10 December 2013 19:02

Universal Credit has replaced Labour’s NHS supercomputer as the ABC of how not to manage an IT project. Just six…

The Conservative Party Annual Conference

Pathfindering and lobster pots: IDS defends Universal credit

9 December 2013 22:01

If you’d judged the success of universal credit purely on Iain Duncan Smith’s tone at the Work and Pensions select…

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Number 10 defends IDS and universal credit

9 December 2013 12:32

It’s a bit pointless asking whether the Prime Minister has confidence in Iain Duncan Smith, so this morning his spokesman…

Iain Duncan Smith campaigning on the Easterhouse estate, where in 2002 he was inspired to start his drive for reform of the welfare system. Picture: Getty.

Iain Duncan Smith: Universal credit plan is different

9 December 2013 8:56

Iain Duncan Smith is up before the Work and Pensions Committee this afternoon to talk about his department’s annual report.…


Brits are not idle – they’re just taxed to death

4 December 2013 8:47

Today’s Times has a headline designed, I suspect, to make the blood boil. “Idle Britons are allowing Romanians to take…

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Same old ding-dong as Reeves and IDS face off for first time

14 October 2013 16:53

After insisting that her appointment in no way represented a ‘lurch to the left’ at the weekend by repeating the…


Fixing the civil service

6 September 2013 12:35

Universal credit is having a bumpy ride: but whose fault is it? Yesterday’s Commons urgent question on the National Audit…

Image: Carla Millar

Liam Byrne’s vulture strategy

5 September 2013 20:45

David Aaronovitch’s furious Times column this morning described Ed Miliband as a vulture, swooping down on problems caused by this…

Iain Duncan Smith campaigning on the Easterhouse estate, where in 2002 he was inspired to start his drive for reform of the welfare system. Picture: Getty.

Iain Duncan Smith turns up the jargon on universal credit

5 September 2013 15:59

Iain Duncan Smith was in an aggressive mood when he appeared before MPs this morning to explain the latest awkward…

British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

Why Universal Credit delay is a good thing, not a political failure

11 July 2013 17:06

‘Iain Duncan Smith must now ask himself if he is fit for purpose.’ That’s what Liam Byrne thinks of the…

The 'cap' on AME spending is a bold move, albeit one that might imperil other parts of the government's agenda.

Wriggle room welfare – 6 AME ‘cap’ observations

27 June 2013 15:53

The savings-hungry government has set its sights on welfare-related Annually Managed Expenditure (AME). At £183bn a year – it’s over…