Committee of MPs accuse the government of "hampering" its scrutiny of Universal Credit
- 09 Apr
The Work and Pensions Committee has said that the government has not always provided accurate and timely information on changes to benefit reforms, whilst also warning that the single benefit is being rolled out at a "snail's pace".
The government, however, has said that it has given "regular updates" to MPs and its plans were being implemented in a "slow, controlled and safe" fashion, reports BBC.
In the latest report by the cross-party committee it says that there remains a "worrying uncertainty" over the computer systems being developed to implement the reforms.
Problems with IT systems underpinning the project came to light in a National Audit Office report last September, however the government had known about the issues for at least eighteen months, says MPs.
"It is concerning that it took so long for the government to acknowledge openly that there were problems with Universal Credit IT," the report said "The government has hampered the committee's scrutiny of Universal Credit implementation by not providing accurate, timely and detailed information. It is not acceptable for the government only to provide information about major policy changes when forced to do so by the imminent prospect of being held to account in a public evidence session."
Dame Anne Begg, Labour MP for Aberdeen South and chair of the committee has said: "Whilst it is right to ensure that the system works properly before extending it, there is a difference between cautious progress and a snail's pace. Given the excruciatingly slow pace of roll-out to date, it is hard to see how the most recent implementation timetable can be met."
"Ministers promised one million people would be on the scheme by April 2014 but the latest figures show under 4,000 are," said shadow work and pension secretary Rachel Reeves. "David Cameron must urgently get a grip of this crisis-hit policy before any more taxpayers money is wasted."
But a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "Universal Credit and its IT systems are very clearly working well, with claimants receiving the new benefit and moving into work. We deliberately started in a slow, controlled and safe way, which the committee itself has long recommended, so we can expand Universal Credit securely to more people. Universal Credit is on track and we will start expanding it to other Jobcentres from this summer."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.freeimages.com/browse.phtml?f=view&id=386434
- 03 May
MANY MAY STRUGGLE AS A RESULT OF CHANGES TO THE UNIVERSAL CREDIT SYSTEM
The study envisages the following issues from the move which is expected to save the taxman £1billion a year by 2021:Chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham said:"This cut...
- 13 Mar
CIH SCOTLAND POINTS OUT ISSUES WITH IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW SINGLE PAYMENT ON UNIVERSAL CREDIT
Following recent warnings from the Scottish Parliament's Social Security Committee about problems with the new Universal Credit system, CIH Scotland has pointed out some issues with the...
- 23 Nov
THE LHA CAP WILL APPLY TO ALL TENANTS THAT RECEIVE UNIVERSAL CREDIT
These details were stated by the government:Lord Freud announced in a ministerial statement that this would "ensure simplicity and a streamlined process". He also said tenants who are moved from...
- 17 Oct
UNIVERSAL CREDIT SET TO EXPAND IN AREAS SERVED BY KIRKINTILLOCH JOBCENTRE
The beneficiaries of this would have to live within one of these postcodes: G64 4, G66 1, G66 2, G66 3, G66 4, G66 5, G66 7 and G66 8.This entitlement means working age people in these postcodes...
- 25 Aug
AFTERMATH OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT DELAYS
The labour MP also said "the minimum six-week payment period faced by new Universal Credit claimants led to reliance on emergency food parcels, triggered debt and rent arrears, and caused health...
- 25 May
FIRST ERROR AND FRAUD FINDINGS FOR UNIVERSAL CREDIT
The department's findings show that underpayments due to official errors were considerably higher than for the older Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) Programme, however, the rate of overpayments was...
- 09 Sep
Universal credit targets defended by Iain Duncan Smith
When asked about the effectiveness of the roll-out of universal credit Mr Duncan Smith said: “Universal credit is now available in more than half of jobcentres across Great Britain and will be...
- 18 Aug
Scottish carers are worse off due to universal credit
Child Poverty Action Group has sent a report to Scottish and UK ministers urging them to amend the universal credit regime to pay closer heed to Scotland’s systems and use devolved power to protect...
- 13 Aug
Universal Credit claimants rise to almost 90,000
Figures by the Department for Work and Pensions have found that 89,357 people were claiming universal credit by 9th July which was a rise of 18% compared to 75,426 on 11th June, reports Inside...
- 13 Aug
Scottish government to revamp universal credit
The Scottish Government has decided it wants to give claimants the choice of having their payments made twice a month rather than just once a month on universal credit, reports Scottish Housing...
Revenue Optimisation "Coventry Mind has recently worked through a programme of Housing Benefit optimisation with Support Solutions and in particular their specialist Danny Key. Throughout the whole process Danny demonstrated that he has excellent knowledge of the subject and was able to put forward a convincing case for the increase in funding to the Housing Benefit team. Coventry Mind has already and will continue to recommend Support Solutions and in particular this service to other organisations." Steven Hill - Director of Central Services