The Curmudgeon


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Feet First

Some underlings at the Department of Workfare and Privation have been making apologetic noises, presumably in the hope of distancing themselves from the political, intellectual and informational train wreck that is the brilliant Iain Duncan Smith. (An ethical train wreck too, of course; but to speak of ethics at this stage of the proceedings would be little more than an exercise in bad taste.) The benefits director at the DWP said that the business of making social security payments to terminally ill people had not been "up to scratch"; translated into Standard English, this means that claims which used to be processed in eight to ten days can now take eight to ten weeks. This is very convenient in weeding out the non-shirkers, who are occasionally considerate enough to die before any payments have been made; but it hasn't been very good for public relations, and the charitable sector has put in a few complaints on slightly different grounds to the standard Labour criticism that the régime isn't harsh enough.

Meanwhile Mike Penning, Daveybloke's afterthought for the disabled, has been having a bit of a bluster about kicking the bureaucrats into shape. Penning claims to want payments made to the deserving dying within seven days; indeed, Penning claims to be quite passionate and moral about the whole affair, though not quite passionate or moral enough to introduce official targets binding his department to the requisite time-scale. The Government does not care for targets when payments are being made; only when they are being cut. Still, Mike Penning says it's a moral position, and Mike Penning is a Conservative minister in a department run by the brilliant Iain Duncan Smith; so everything should be fixed in no time.


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