Lord Freud was speaking yesterday at the IRRV’s annual benefits & revenues conference, which is always well attended by council delegates from all parts of the UK. His full speech can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/welfare-reforms-progress-update

He really says nothing we haven’t already heard. Basically, he applauds councils for the cooperation they’ve already shown to the DWP in the introduction of the Benefits Cap and Bedroom Tax (Under-occupation subsidy withdrawal) and remarks about how this type of corporate approach is what is needed to deliver Universal Credit. He conveniently overlooks the fact that the Benefits Cap & Bedroom Tax have been implemented by the councils themselves, using long established HB systems and processes and have little or nothing to do with what DWP has allegedly contributed.

Bill Irvine

October 2013.