Let us, for the sake of argument, assume that a Labour Secretary of State, Rachel Reeves takes up post on Friday 8th May in the SoS’s offices at Caxton House.
Ms Reeves will be handed a file of issues requiring her attention, some well known about, for example, manifesto pledges; others less so, the real progress of development on and implementation of Universal Credit, say, and some virtually unknown, the slow collapse of existing benefit payment systems.
Using insider knowledge and my own insight, I am going to prepare my own mini file for Ms Reeves. Most of the issues, barring the first six, should not be treated as being listed in any particular order. I leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide your own priorities. However, I contend that my first six are urgent and to some extent inter-connected.
To set the tone of a new approach to social security, the first issue to be addressed should be:
Number 1: Repeal of the Bedroom Tax
A relatively easy task, if the Department’s officials have been doing their job properly during the election, as the necessary paperwork will be in place for the SoS to honour this Manifesto pledge as straight away as possible.