EDITORIAL COMMENT: PM testing the water
DAVID Cameron hasn’t had much luck lately, what with very public fall-outs with coalition partners and illadvised selective interventions into celebrities’ tax affairs.
So it is perhaps not surprising that he has turned his attention to something he knows will fire up his Tory supporters and appeal to some of his party’s disaffected back-benchers.
And that is announcing yet another cull of benefit payments.
Of course, it is only right that any government should focus on how much it is spending. It is also fair to say that the benefits paid out must represent value for money for the taxpayer.
But we fear that Mr Cameron’s speech yesterday was more about simply slashing spending and appealing to certain sections of his party rather than seeking to modernise our benefits system.
In our view, the focus should be on making the whole system less complex.
But the suggestion, removed from his speech at the last moment that there could be regional rates of benefits seems doomed to making a complicated system ever more complex.
These are just ideas at the moment so it appears that Mr Cameron is testing the water before firming up a policy.
Proof then that a lot of what he is suggesting would be totally unacceptable to the coalition’s Lib Dem partners.