In Government #Labour didn’t pursue #UniversalCredit Project @JeremyCorbyn’s @UKLabour will make work

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Labour politicians tell a story that captures both his vanity and his folly …

“Labour politicians tell a story that captures both his vanity and his folly. A few years ago, Duncan Smith met Douglas Alexander, Rachel Reeves and Stephen Timms. He enthused about his belief in a universal credit that would merge taxes and benefits. He would free 6 million people from the poverty traps of welfare dependency and show them that work made them better off.

The Labour politicians admitted that universal credit was a fine idea. They had thought about implementing it many times. But you had to merge incompatible IT systems and find a way of updating the information on millions of people so that Whitehall knew almost instantaneously how much they were earning, what taxes they should pay and what benefits they should receive. Reforming a complex system would take years. If Duncan Smith rushed it he would be engaging in the vast and self-defeating social engineering the right accused the utopian left of forcing on the human race.

Duncan Smith would have none of it. The technicalities were trifles. All that was needed was the political will. And he, Iain Duncan Smith, the man of destiny, had the will to make it work. “We looked at him as if he was mad,” one of the participants told me.”

Why stubborn Iain Duncan Smith is no statesman

Today, Labour under Jeremy Corbyn thinks, like Iain Duncan Smith before them, that they will make Universal Credit work.

But for whom exactly, Jeremy Corbyn?

Labour says it will make Universal Credit work.  To the tune of £550 per month?

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MPs bottle it on #UniversalCredit as would @JeremyCorbyn’s @UKLabour in Government

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We have heard a lot over the last two years about how Jeremy Corbyn does not play by the rules; does the other thing, the principled thing; is not only different from previous party leaders and other politicians, but also better than them, in fact, he is not really a politician at all.  However, Jeremy Corbyn has already indicated that a Labour Government led by him will keep Universal Credit.

Labour has to make Universal Credit work in order to find a chunk of the monies to fund universal free university tuition from Day One in Government.

Universal Credit must work or else John McDonnell will have to go back on his pledge to not increase Income Tax and National Insurance on those with incomes of less than £80,000 per year, 95% of the total in the United Kingdom, during the life of a Corbyn led Labour Government.

Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge of universal free university tuition is a black hole around which Labour policy is being bent.  So far it has resulted in the announcements that both the benefits freeze and the benefit cap will stay in place, indefinitely; that only a derisory amount of money, at most an extra £500 million per year, will be spent on Sure Start, an amount that will not even fully reverse the savage Tory cuts in the programme since May 2010, let alone reboot it and, since the General Election, we have been told that Labour will make Universal Credit work.

The working age poor and their children will, under Labour, pay the price for universal free university tuition as today, under the Conservatives, they pay the price for austerity.

To add insult to injury, universal free university tuition will, on balance, probably result in fewer youths from lower income backgrounds going to university than do now.  The proportion of youths from low income backgrounds going to university has actually increased since tuition fees were introduced.

The universal free university tuition policy, if enacted, would slash the price of tuition to zero and result in a Government imposed cap on university places.  Demand for university places would rise as the supply of them becomes fixed.

Those with the sharpest elbows will benefit from universal free university tuition and such folk rarely come from the working class.

Jeremy Corbyn feels a great victory has been scored with the recent announcement that calls to the Universal Credit helpline will be made free.

Jeremy, people will still be making the calls, because Universal Credit is flawed.

The cross-party Parliamentary Work and Pensions Select Committee thinks,

“The baked-in six-week wait for the first payment in universal credit is a major obstacle to the success of the policy.”

Chaps, that is the target date for making a payment and, if there are continuing errors in setting up claims, and there will be, then shortening the time in which to make a payment does not address the fact that Universal Credit is inherently flawed.

There is a major outbreak of cognitive dissonance raging in the House of Commons and its cause is Universal Credit.  The project has developed a life of its own, a self justifying existence.  It must succeed, it will succeed.

The most difficult decision in project management, probably the most flunked, is to say enough is enough.  This project is never going to deliver on time, on cost and, most importantly of all, to specification.

“Since it was launched in 2013, universal credit has been riddled with colossal design flaws, with delays announced seven times and a mounting price tag of £16bn. It’s the same “act first, think later” approach to so-called “welfare reform” that is seeing the Conservatives simultaneously order the mass retesting of every disabled person on out-of-work sickness benefits.

Universal Credit has caused untold hardship. But the worst is yet to come

Universal Credit behind rising rent arrears and food bank use

“About 8% of current benefits claimants are on UC, which will increase to 10% by the end of January.  The rollout is (now) due to be completed by 2022.”

Universal Credit: six-week wait key obstacle to its success, MPs say

We should cut our losses and reflect on the experience, before deciding what to do next.

I am a big fan of evidence based policy making, but experts make politicians like Michael Gove and Jeremy Corbyn uncomfortable.  They rarely view the world as binary and have unsettling takes on matters such as BREXIT/LEXIT for which Gove and Corbyn have hankered for decades.

Universal Credit is fundamentally flawed.  You do not need a degree to see that (and Jeremy Corbyn does not have one).  You do need the courage to say enough is enough, the experiment has failed, that Labour in Government will do the other thing and not tinker with Universal Credit, but scrap it.

Alas, in his own way, Jeremy Corbyn is as arrogant as Iain Duncan Smith is in his.  Neither can be wrong.  One has even always been on the right side of history, if his most ardent fans are to be believed.

The working age poor are suffering, because of Iain Duncan Smith’s fundamentally flawed Universal Credit.  They will continue to suffer under a Government led by their self styled champion, one Jeremy Corbyn.

 

Does @JeremyCorbyn still feel @UKLabour there are positives to #BREXIT/#LEXIT? Part Seven

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Drug giant calls for clarity on Brexit and minimum two-year transition period to avoid disruption to medical supplies …

“The company is not planning to move operations out of the UK, but if no deal is reached, it will duplicate certain facilities in Europe, allowing it to retest drugs manufactured in Britain and shipped to the continent.

Walmsley said, “We are not thinking of any relocation out of the UK, but … we are looking at contingency planning in terms of testing facilities, to allow us to have as seamless a transition as possible, and make sure we are providing secure supply to the patients that need our drugs and medicines.”

She added, “All of that work is under way in the detailed planning group, and we will be ready for it as necessary.”

GlaxoSmithKline’s requests to the government also include making sure the UK can participate in the EU regulatory framework, setting up a talent-friendly immigration policy and delivering predictable funding levels for UK sciences.”

GlaxoSmithKline set to build drug testing plant in Europe

Does @JeremyCorbyn still feel @UKLabour there are positives to #BREXIT/#LEXIT? Part Six

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Multinational companies including banks have signalled a willingness to relocate jobs from the UK to other European towns and cities …

Toyota has warned the government to “lift the fog” surrounding Brexit negotiations and secure a deal that would safeguard the competitiveness of its Derbyshire factory.

The Japanese carmaker said uncertainty over the UK’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU was hindering its ability to plan for the future of its business in the UK, where it employs about 3,000 people.

“The UK government should … understand that we cannot stay in this kind of fog when we don’t know what will be the output of the negotiation,” said Didier Leroy, executive vice-president at Toyota.”

Toyota seeks clarity over Brexit ‘fog’ amid fears over Derbyshire plant

.@JeremyCorbyn’s @UKLabour as mad as #IDS when it comes to the matter of #UniversalCredit?

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Labour politicians tell a story that captures both his vanity and his folly …

“Labour politicians tell a story that captures both his vanity and his folly. A few years ago, Duncan Smith met Douglas Alexander, Rachel Reeves and Stephen Timms. He enthused about his belief in a universal credit that would merge taxes and benefits. He would free 6 million people from the poverty traps of welfare dependency and show them that work made them better off.

The Labour politicians admitted that universal credit was a fine idea. They had thought about implementing it many times. But you had to merge incompatible IT systems and find a way of updating the information on millions of people so that Whitehall knew almost instantaneously how much they were earning, what taxes they should pay and what benefits they should receive. Reforming a complex system would take years. If Duncan Smith rushed it he would be engaging in the vast and self-defeating social engineering the right accused the utopian left of forcing on the human race.

Duncan Smith would have none of it. The technicalities were trifles. All that was needed was the political will. And he, Iain Duncan Smith, the man of destiny, had the will to make it work. “We looked at him as if he was mad,” one of the participants told me.”

Why stubborn Iain Duncan Smith is no statesman

Today, Labour under Jeremy Corbyn thinks, like Iain Duncan Smith before them, that they will make Universal Credit work.

But for whom exactly, Jeremy Corbyn?

Labour says it will make Universal Credit work.  To the tune of £550 per month?

So #IDS & @JeremyCorbyn’s @UKLabour know better on the matter of #UniversalCredit than Old #Labour?

Standard
Labour politicians tell a story that captures both his vanity and his folly …

“Labour politicians tell a story that captures both his vanity and his folly. A few years ago, Duncan Smith met Douglas Alexander, Rachel Reeves and Stephen Timms. He enthused about his belief in a universal credit that would merge taxes and benefits. He would free 6 million people from the poverty traps of welfare dependency and show them that work made them better off.

The Labour politicians admitted that universal credit was a fine idea. They had thought about implementing it many times. But you had to merge incompatible IT systems and find a way of updating the information on millions of people so that Whitehall knew almost instantaneously how much they were earning, what taxes they should pay and what benefits they should receive. Reforming a complex system would take years. If Duncan Smith rushed it he would be engaging in the vast and self-defeating social engineering the right accused the utopian left of forcing on the human race.

Duncan Smith would have none of it. The technicalities were trifles. All that was needed was the political will. And he, Iain Duncan Smith, the man of destiny, had the will to make it work. “We looked at him as if he was mad,” one of the participants told me.”

Why stubborn Iain Duncan Smith is no statesman

Today, Labour under Jeremy Corbyn thinks, like Iain Duncan Smith before them, that they will make Universal Credit work.

But for whom exactly, Jeremy Corbyn?

Labour says it will make Universal Credit work.  To the tune of £550 per month?

.@JeremyCorbyn’s @UKLabour either stupid or lying when they say they’ll make #UniversalCredit work?

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” … a service built from knowledge will fail because the design is based on ideology.”

“While we should take our hats off to Iain Duncan Smith for his thorough analysis of social welfare problems, he has been duped when it comes to delivering the solution, the universal credit.

Duncan Smith has been persuaded that delivery of this big IT scheme won’t fail as others have done.

The need to successfully build a large-scale computer system is the first of two fundamental weaknesses in the plan for delivering the universal credit. As Robin Gauld and Shaun Goldfinch point out in their book Dangerous Enthusiasms – employing a veritable tsunami of evidence – the vast majority of large-scale computer systems fail.

The IT companies say that this time things will be OK because the systems will be “agile”.

Agile – the building of computer systems in an iterative, “live” way – is merely to do the wrong thing faster. Which brings me to the second fundamental weakness: if the computer system gets built, the service will fail because computers are terrible at absorbing variety – and taxation, credits and benefits are problems with wide variety.

Using computers to deliver universal credit will amount to an attempt to codify, in rules, the eligibility and entitlements for claimants. As rules can never deal with variety, the consequence will be poor-quality, hard-to-get services for those who are the most vulnerable in society.

The plan represents an obsession with cost. Services delivered on the internet are argued to be cheaper; in the words of DWP leaders, universal credit “will be digital by default”. But there is a counterintuitive truth: managing costs drives costs up. We have already seen this with public services that have been moved to call centres: it confuses transaction costs (which will be lower) with the true costs of service – the total number of transactions it takes for citizens to get a service (as we have seen in HMRC).

It produces what I call “failure demand” – demand caused by a failure to do something or do something right for the customer.

I explained all this to Terry Moran, director general of the universal credit programme at the DWP, and introduced him to private sector clients who told him the same – computer systems cannot deal with services that involve wide variety. But these conversations have done nothing to stop the speeding train from its inevitable crash.

I also offered Moran a better and cheaper alternative. People, not computers, are the means for absorbing variety. Many housing benefits services have been redesigned using the Vanguard method, where service delivery is studied and then redesigned.

Citizen-centred services have been able to cut their operating costs and cope with rising demand. They demonstrate that good service is, actually, cheaper.

The people who have developed these outstanding services could deliver the universal credit in months, without a massive investment in information technology. It is a tragedy: a service built from knowledge will fail because the design is based on ideology.”

John Seddon is a consultant and advocate of the Vanguard method

Universal credit: guaranteed to fail? (Guardian, Thursday 29th September 2011)