Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Mixed bag

George Osborne gave a speech on welfare reform yesterday with one good idea and one bad idea wrapped in a mistake.  The idea of capping the welfare levels is an interesting one that has a basis in the principle of fairness.  However, you do wonder if it is a means of exporting the unemployed from nice Tory areas of London etc.  The cut to child benefit is the bad idea.  It undermines the principle of universality which the Tories themselves made the case for during the election. 

The mistake was presentational.  Should it have been the Chancellor making such a speech?  Does it not make the context all about money rather than reform to our welfare system?  Would it not have been wiser coming from Iain Duncan Smith?  He has spent years building up his personal and party's credibility on the issue, would it not have been time for him to spend some of that capital rather than a Chancellor with none.

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