As loyal readers know, RTI and Universal Credits are all part of the same beast and the fates of both affect the government, HMRC and the DWP.
The overall aim of PAYE Real Time Information and Universal Credits is to make the administration easier for HMRC and DWP and to reduce fraud by ensuring that employees and businesses pay tax more accurately, whilst claimants receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
Thus it is interesting to note that Cameron has publicly indicated that the UC deadline of 2017, being zealously proselytised by Iain Duncan Smith, may in fact not really be achievable.
Cameron told the Commons work and pension select committee that he was not "religious" about plans to roll out the universal credit across the country by 2017.
He is quoted by the Guardian:
"The secretary of state was questioned very closely in the House of Commons. That is the department's position – they are shooting for 2017.Personally speaking I don't think governments should be "religious" at all, they should be pragmatic.
But the key thing is getting the early part of the introduction right. The more you can test out and hold pathfinders and get people on to universal budget and then start to take existing benefit recipients on to universal credit – the more you can get that right in the early years, the more chance you have of hitting your target of total rollout.
My view is this is a good reform that will make work pay, that is widely supported across politics and other sectors. So we need to get it right. But we shouldn't be religious about timings. We should be religious as it were about the overall concept of what we are trying to do."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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