Letters to the Editor - 29/10 - Failing reforms, Best of Twitter

Failing reforms

[Re: Welfare reforms rolled out in London today, yesterday]

The thinking behind Universal Credit is well-intentioned: to simplify our complex tax credits system, while incentivising people to take up work. But its execution is doomed to fail, not because of bungling at the Department for Work and Pensions, but because it aims to have the majority of transactions carried out online. This will require the successful building of a large-scale, highly-sophisticated computer system (as part of Whitehall’s “digital by default” revolution). And monolithic computer systems like this always fail. 

Penny Matthews

Critics say that Universal Credit is too ambitious. In my view, it is not ambitious enough.
Ian Priban

[Re: Defective regulations are pushing up energy prices as competition suffers, yesterday]

Stephen Littlechild’s excellent piece lays bare the real truth about our energy market. It’s effectively a state-directed model, with private companies making money running bits of it. Simple tariffs hurt innovation, stop firms providing the services customers want, and disincentivise shopping around for the best deal. Where is risk and reward?
Name withheld



99.2 per cent of UK private sector businesses employ fewer than 50 people.

35 days since Miliband announced energy price freeze, and all we’ve seen from the government is infighting.

In 2013, the Dow is already up 18 per cent; the S&P is up
23 and the Nasdaq 30. That is great progress.

Though Japan’s population hasn’t changed, 30 per cent are now over 60, compared with 24 per cent in 2000.