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.
Scientists and engineers have been working with state of the art equipment in order to ensure that they do not attract the criticism the DWP has had to endure due to its track record with technology, particularly in IT. Mr Duncan Smith told the Commons Work and Pensions Committee that this is a fact finding mission. Fending off criticism that Universal Credit was proving to be a shambles and due to miss its roll out deadline of 2017, he commented, “By putting Universal Credit on the Debacle, we are delivering a Universal Credit solution. We could not do it unless the equipment we were building was up and working”.
It is estimated that the journey will take seven months. If successful, the government hopes that a Mars landing will boost its popularity in time for the 2015 election. Future plans include building a series of stations on Mars to boost jobs, although what the nature of this work will be was undisclosed. 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.