Ian Duncan Smith has unveiled plans to make the benefits system truly ‘universal’ by exporting it to Mars. The Department of Work and Pensions has been in secret talks with Imperial College London and NASA to launch a spacecraft, to be called the Debacle, next summer.
Duncan Smith told the Commons Work and Pensions Committee that this is a fact-finding mission. ‘By putting Universal Credit on the Debacle, we are delivering a Universal Credit solution,’ he said.
If the seven-month mission succeeds, the government plans to build a series of stations on Mars to boost jobs. Competition for work will be stiff and is likely to be offered to the long-term unemployed, following a series of competency tests undertaken by third parties including G4S and Atos.