Sunday, 28 July 2013

"I'm a believer" declares himself proud of his achievements ... and is still happy to quote "industry figures" ...

But one suspects this "everything is firmly on track, but we are doing some of it at a slower pace than we might have suggested to make sure it is all done properly" is, with a post summer recess "getting ready for 2015" reshuffle in the offing, written to try and forestall yet another round - as was the case at the last reshuffle - of renewed whispering from his close colleagues that the great man has obviously achieved much but risks suffering from burn out and deserves to be given something quieter to do...

or possibly suggestions from some of them, with an eye on exactly how much of that deficit has been trimmed by 2015 and how bad it might look if on top of not having addressed that to any great degree they have also failed on the "welfare revolution" and "curing unemployment", that "measured against his own promises he has failed and has to go, now, before the whole project goes pear shaped..."
Questions have been raised about whether the dramatic pace of our reforms is too difficult to implement. But these doubts ignore my department's proven track record of delivering change and show a lack of ambition from the people raising them. Look at what has already been achieved.

We promised a benefit cap and it began, on time, in April in four London areas. It will be completely rolled out by September. We introduced the new personal independence payment as planned and on time. Automatic enrolment started last year, and now 1 million people have been registered into a workplace pension. People are using our Universal Jobsite website for more than 5m job searches a day. Our Work Programme has launched and the industry tells us that so far 321,000 people have found a job through it.

I am proud of this record. But my main concern about the delivery of our reforms is that we bring them in safely. I have no desire to follow in the disastrous footsteps of the last Labour government and rush out changes to meet an artificial timetable, only to be forced to scramble to sort it out when it goes wrong.
I find it nothing short of amusing that the opposition is now calling for universal credit to be delivered faster.

While I welcome its support for this radical transformation – following its rejection of all our other reforms – I won't take lessons from a party that brought us tax credit chaos and oversaw the decay of the welfare system".


Mark Wadsworth said...

We promised a benefit cap and it began, on time.... in April in four London areas.

Classic stuff. And how's that "universal credit roll-out" coming along, Iain? Any customers yet?