Shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms has Slammed the Government's Welfare Reform Programme
- 02 Oct
Shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms has Slammed the Government’s Welfare Reform ProgrammeReport from Inside Housing 02/10/2012
Speaking at a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in Manchester (30 Sept - 4th Oct 2012) Mr Timms said that he believed that the universal credit project ‘is in a bit of a mess’.
‘The universal credit has been presented as a panacea and it simply won’t be,’ he added. ‘There is the potential that it can simplify the incentives that people are getting to work but a lot of that potential is being thrown away by cack-handed implementation.
‘At the moment, ministers think they are on to a huge vote winner but the difficulties they are going to run into will change that.’
Mr Timms also criticised the coalition’s decision to remove council tax support from the universal credit. The universal credit is set to replace a range of existing benefit payments, including housing benefit, when it is introduced next October.
Mr Timms said that social security should have a ‘more contributory character’, adding that ‘a significant part of the problem is that when you pay in you do not get anything out.’
Earlier, shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne also said a future Labour government would have to ‘reinvent social security’ but he hit out at government proposals to set benefit caps on a national basis.
Mr Byrne told the Today programme that the cap should be set differently in different parts of the country, calling the coalition’s national limit ‘clumsy and politicised’.
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