Re: existing system and new idea
I think the days of ministers having to sell ideas to civil servants are long gone. These days it's the other way round!
So, the main factors blocking a complete re-working of benefits are political will and complexity of the reform.
I've though a lot about how this could be done over the years having been caught up in the whole, government gives you this amount , then takes this amount, then opts you up etc.
My conclusion is that the current system is crap and has been made worse and worse by succesive governments but....... a simple system is not as simple to ahieve as it first appears and it's hard not to start introducing exceptions and other complications once you get into the detail.
Samre sort of thing goes for paying our taxes too..... there's so much lost in overheads and inefficienices.