Those who believed the government had exhausted its supply of welfare-demonising policies were in for a cruel shock as the Tories reached down the back of the sofa and pulled out another billy club.
The fact that the most ambitious welfare reforms since 1945 are struggling to achieve their policy objectives should concern anyone who cares about building a better society. We need a more nuanced and supportive approach to reforming welfare - one which takes into account the variety of individuals circumstances and capabilities
There has been some confusion between the overall spending cap and the individual benefit cap which came into force last September. The latter has an automatic effect on a single person whose total weekly benefit income reaches £350, and a couple or anyone with children whose income reaches £500.
It's in the interest of the taxpayer to make it difficult for those who need to to jump through the benefits hoops. However, this goes further than that. This is a system in need of immediate, wholesale reform. IDS has worked to make the whole jobseeking process online, which is great, but putting an old-fashioned bureaucracy onto the internet isn't the same as modernising it.
Child poverty costs this country £29billion a year, and will rise to £35billion by 2020 if the projections prove accurate. Other countries are doing far better on the existing - internationally recognised - measures. It's not the child poverty targets that are 'discredited', but the government's approach to meeting them.
This week's Child Poverty Strategy will set the course for the next three years - taking us halfway to the target date. There is no silver bullet for ending child poverty, and the strategy needs to work on a number of fronts.
A secret internal document from the Department for Work and Pensions shows that the coalition is planning to charge claimants for appealing against benefit sanctions.
PIP has been available to new claimants since June 2013. Most of those who are currently on DLA will not go through the reassessment process until October 2015. However those whose award runs out before that date or whose circumstances change will still be called in, potentially piling delay upon delay.
Iain Duncan Smith appeared in front of the work and pensions committee of MPs yesterday, but decided against illuminating them - and us - about his work. His Universal Credit scheme, widely recognised to be failing due in great part to his poor management and lack of financial acumen, was the main item on the agenda.
Wednesday saw Iain Duncan Smith expressing outrage about the findings of the European Committee of Social Rights on the UK's recent report to that body... So what is the all the fuss about? Who is this Committee that has raised the hackles of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions?
Far from a one-off, clusters of social breakdown blight thousands of similar streets across Britain. The injustice is real and the costs to our country are high. When Benefits Street is over we can't just sit back and wait for a second series. We have seen and we must act.
What Iain Duncan Smith is doing, quite unashamedly, is using propaganda to justify his hideous reforms that serve to push deprived communities further into poverty, rather than lift them out.
Much like the IT errors that transformed Barack Obama's revolutionary dream of affordable healthcare for all Americans into a conservative pundit's wet dream, Iain Duncan Smith's universal credit system has been dogged by design flaws from day one.
Despite the government's constant claims about Universal Credit making work pay, all we have at present is the sizeable stick of the Claimant Commitment, long before any of the carrot is in sight!
As anyone who has seen Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol will know, the moral of the tale is that Ebenezer Scrooge is so besotted by wealth that he has, until visited by the 'ghosts' of Christmas, no sympathy for those unable to fend for themselves... Perhaps we should hope that something similar happens to Iain Duncan Smith
The one apparent bright spot, the fall in unemployment, came with more caveats than the average party election manifesto. More are working part-time only because they can't find full-time work while those earning less than premiership footballers have lost hundreds more pounds this year as wages still haven't kept pace with inflation.