by Frank Young, CSJ Political Director
Today’s Opposition Day debates in the Commons on Universal Credit and free school meals would commit the Government to spending an additional £9 billion a year on Universal Credit: whatever the welfare plan, its costs are always huge.
The Government should be given credit for stepping in quickly at a time of crisis. It acted fast to provide an uplift for recipients of Universal Credit. Nonetheless, the debates will bring into painful focus the lack of a coherent approach to tackling poverty.
The absence of such a strategy has left ministers haplessly exposed, and gifted their opponents a moral high ground. A government in want of a thought-through approach to poverty is also a government that will find itself constantly accused of being uncaring – and vulnerable to excitable campaigns to expose this supposed malice.