David Cameron, Welfare Reform and another U-Turn on the political horizon

As David Cameron continues to twist and turn in the face of poor policy making, the storm clouds gather again for another possible U-Turn.

Iain Duncan Smith has been at pains to insist there is no turning back with Welfare reform, and many people in this country agree that welfare reform is a necessity to ensure fairness in the future and the prevention of the poverty trap that has been present in welfare for the past 40 years.

However, leaked letters to the Guardian today show fears of the effects of the welfare cap for families that could cause unintended consequences which include homelessness for 40,000 people and could cost more than the cap saves.

It is a dilemma for IDS and his reforms as it is difficult to be certain how the market in housing and welfare recipients will react to the changes, and there are fears the changes may cost the government more than it saves.

There is no doubt that there will be teething problems and anomalies in the new welfare system IDS is trying to bring in.  The system is so complicated that to simplify it will inevitably mean unintended consequences, but this does not mean it should not be attempted.

However, with the concerns so starkly highlighted by the letter from Eric pickle’s Communities office, could another U-Turn be on the ever more stormy horizon.

This morning the press officers of the Conservative party are doing their best to quash any talk of a U-Turn or a rift in the government.  They say it is an old letter and any concerns have been addressed.

Time as ever will tell, but it would not be surprising that there were changes to the welfare bill over time, and ordinarily with such a complex reform this would pass without much comment.  However, with the reputation of the government akin to the U-Turn Prime Minister, every change of direction will be scrutinised.



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