Universal credit was originally conceived as a positive facet of the otherwise draconian Tory welfare “reforms.” Designed to simplify the benefit system, introducing more flexibilty, and to ensure that benefit claimants were “always better off in work” – by removing “disincentives” to employment.
Of course, in tandem to this are the much more punitive, coercive and cost-cutting policies – cuts to disability benefits, the introduction of an overall benefit cap and the rapidly increasing use of sanctions, as a key part of a stringent conditionality regime. Such policies are perverse, given the social reasons why the welfare state evolved originally.
You have to wonder how the Conservatives have avoided the criticism levelled at the Thatcher government of the 1980s: that it sacrificed and condemned millions to waste away and mortify on benefits as a “price worth paying” for economic recovery. After all, Cameron’s government are still sacrificing those with the…
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