Iain Duncan Smith found himself in front of the Work and Pensions Select Committee on 9th December thanks to two disabled campaigners; Jayne Linney and Debbie Sayers, and their petition to hold him to account which reached 100,000 signatures within a few days.{jcomments on}

According The Mirror; IDS was like ‘a lost swimmer surrounded by sharks. But there was no sack, and no sanction.’

Earlier that day, IDS was on the Today programme. Here is a summary of the main points reported in The Guardian. It was all about universal credit (UC).

• IDS insisted that his plan to introduce UC by 2017 was broadly on track. By the end of that year (the original target for full implementation) "the vast majority of people" would be on it, he said. The only exception would be about 700,000 people receiving employment and support allowance (ESA), a disability benefit.

• IDS said the project was "on budget". He explained: "The figures that we were given are £2bn to do this and we will have spent under that by time we get to the end of this programme ... The OBR shows that we will be within the budget."

• He said he wanted to avoid the mistakes Labour made when it introduced IT projects.

• He said that people who were already on UC in the pilot areas said that it was "a much better system".

• He rejected claims that the Government Digital Service does not support his approach.

• He said that eventually people would be able to use iPhone apps to access the UC system.

You can read Jayne Linney’s account of the meeting here and a blog by Mike Sivier, a freelance journalist and carer with an interest in politics, here



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