NASA spent around £0.5 billion to send its New Horizons spacecraft to Pluto.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reform fiasco on the other hand, will cost the UK taxpayer at least £12.8 billion.
Of course, Duncan Smith’s reform project – a car crash known as Universal Credit – isn’t just about wasting lots and lots of taxpayers’ money.
It’s also – in Iain’s own words – about changing the “lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society”.
And by that measure, Iain has certainly been successful.
Here are just a few examples of how Duncan Smith’s incompetence has been changing the “lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society“:
- Vulnerable people are dying and committing suicide
- Terminally ill patients are being told to work or starve
- Cancer patients have lost up to £94 a week
- Former soldiers are being left to starve to death
- The seriously sick are being penalised for having operations
- 40% of cancer patients can’t afford to heat their home properly
- 90-year-olds are being told to attend job interviews
- Child cancer patients are on foodbank handouts
- Charity workers are being forced to work for Poundland
- Women are being refused unemployment benefit for getting pregnant
- Disabled people are dying of malnutrition
In fact, Duncan Smith’s reforms have reached such levels of Kafkaesque incompetence that he’s been paying out millions in taxpayers’ money to private companies to run so-called ‘back to work’ schemes – which are actually preventing the unemployed from going back to work.
Mind you, you could say it was a strange choice for Cameron to put Duncan Smith in charge of slashing essential help to the sick, the dying and the vulnerable in the first place.
After all, this is the man who thought you and I should be paying for his own essentials – such as his underpants.
To be fair though, Duncan Smith has been trying to do something about his disastrous and very very expensive project.
He sought to deal with the fiasco by doing what any self-respecting Tory cabinet minister always does when faced with criticisms of incompetence.
He blamed the servants – or in this case his civil servants.
So not so much a workman blaming his tools.
More a case of a tool blaming his workmen.