UNIVERSAL credit is turning out to be one of the most botched and badly-executed policies of modern political times.
That such failings affect the welfare of those least able to fend for themselves only reinforces what a mess it is.
Yesterday’s damning indictment of its failings by the Work and Pensions Committee was entirely accurate.
The system should not be rolled out any farther until the shortcomings in both its administration and funding are addressed.
It is unacceptable that the most desperate people in society are not only being left penniless, but at risk of becoming burdened by debt, by a policy that is plainly not working.
The pity of this is that the principle of universal credit was a sound one, with the intention of streamlining the system and saving money by doing so sensible and attracting broad political support.
But its execution has been abysmal.
Pilot schemes quickly identified its inadequacies, and yet the Government appeared to learn nothing, let alone take action to address failings.
They have only been compounded by starving the system of resources.
If the Government is unwise enough to reject the committee’s urgings to delay the extension of universal credit until the problems are addressed, it will only aggravate them.
Such wise counsels as former Prime Minister Sir John Major have already warned that this threatens to become the Government’s poll tax, a political disaster. It is worse than that.
It threatens to plunge the lives of those desperate for help into chaos.