The DWP's own study found that forcing claimants to do community work or attend daily jobcentre meetings made almost no difference to employment levels.
After voting against a cap as recently as January, the Chancellor has taken fright.
Cameron, Duncan Smith, Gove and Osborne are sincere in their desire for social emancipation. They must now find the words to express it.
Average pay excluding bonuses remains below inflation. For most, there is still no recovery at all.
The Chancellor's new assumption that tax cuts significantly boost growth could result in a higher than expected deficit.
The Chancellor's criticis never said that there would be no recovery, only that it would be painfully slow. And they were right.
To resign ourselves to a return to the economic pathologies of the past, as the Tories do, would be to miss a historic opportunity.
New Economic Secretary Andrea Leadsom said during the 2012 Libor row: "Obviously he made a mistake and I think he should apologise to him."
A state annuity scheme would improve the public finances, provide financial security and raise living standards.
Self-conscious attempts by one government to constrain the hands of their successors rarely work.