Universal Credit is facing further criticism
- 07 Nov
A committee of MPs have criticised the government's welfare reform saying it has been "extraordinarily poor" and almost £425m is likely to be written off.
The Commons Public Accounts Committee has said that the oversight of the Universal Credit scheme had been "alarmingly weak". Warning signs have been missed and a "fortress culture" has been claimed among officials.
Criticisms by the cross-party committee echo those by the National Audit Office who have said that the management of the £2.4bn project had been weak and financial controls had been inefficient, reports the BBC.
Ministers still insist that the plan is back on track after its "reset" at the beginning of the year. However the committee said that the project had been beset by a string of problems and is still facing considerable challenges if it wants to achieve its long-term objectives.
£4425m spent up to April, which was mainly on computer software and IT systems, is unlikely to have any worth in the future and its value will likely be written off.
"Universal Credit is the Department for Work and Pensions' single biggest programme and enjoys cross-party support yet its implementation has been extraordinarily poor," Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP who chairs the body, said. "The failure to develop a comprehensive plan has led to extensive delay and the waste of a yet to be determined amount of public money. Pressure to deliver a programme of this magnitude within such an ambitious timescale created a fortress culture where only good news was reported and problems were denied."
Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary is still insistent that Universal Credit can still be rolled out to both new and existing claimants by 2017.
The committee has said that the pilots conducted to date have been unsatisfactory and the target to enrol 184,000 new claimants on to the single benefit by next April would be missed.
"The department will have to speed up the later stages of the programme if it is to meet the 2017 completion date but that will pose new risks," Mrs Hodge added, urging the government not to throw "good money after bad. We believe strongly that meeting any specific timetable from now on is less important than delivering the programme successfully."
A spokesman for Mr Duncan Smith said he had "every confidence" in the team now running the programme. "Both the National Audit Office and the public accounts committee acknowledged a fortress mentality within the Universal Credit programme," he said. "Iain was clear back in the summer about how he and the permanent secretary took action to fix those problems."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/82077
- 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...
How to Fund Housing Support and Social Care Sevices Extremely informative, excellent speaker. Alison Halstead - Riverside ECHG