Suffice it to say that DWP are cock-a-hoop with the latest employment stats — turning the @dwppressoffice Twitter into a blizzard of pre-prepared infographics.
But there was another set of figures released today which they seem less keen on highlighting: Universal Credit. To August 2014 they’ve had 13,260 starters on the new benefit — a mere 986,740 behind their original goal for April of this year.
They’re even 170,740 behind their revised target of 184,000.
But that doesn’t matter to Iain Duncan Smith. He and his ministers are telling anyone that will listen that the implementation of his flagship policy is “stable and on track”.
Iain Duncan Smith (1 September): “it is stable and on track”
Mark Harper (10 September): “the Universal Credit Programme was stable and on track”
Mark Harper (11 September): “We are on track with this plan and we are making good progress.”
That’s because the whole thing has been given a ‘reset’ rating by the Major Projects Authority.
This is Sir Humphrey code for: ‘the whole thing is so f***ed that we might as well throw it in the bin and start from scratch’.