Winning the welfare war
Peter Kellner (“A quiet revolution,” March) paints a picture that no MP in touch with constituents would doubt. Public opinion is on the move, and I welcome the change in views. But Kellner opts for greater means-testing as the only option. The alternative is to rebuild an insurance-based welfare.
Means-testing is seen by many of my constituents as an attack on their moral economy: people are rewarded because they can claim need and not because they contribute. It is difficult to overestimate the impact of Labour’s dance with means-testing on our supporters.
The government’s strategy of a universal credit is no more than a frenzied version of that of Gordon Brown, and is likely to blow apart on day one. Labour’s task is to set out an alternative vision of a “something for something welfare state,” and set out the initial steps to achieve this long-term