Universal Credit is going nowhere, at high cost – Brian Wernham

“So just elaborate on that for us… £425m has to be accounted for?” (Brian Wernham was first to say it: September 2013…)

“So just elaborate on that for us… £425m has to be accounted for?”
(Brian Wernham was first to say it: September 2013…)

Today’s report on Universal Credit from the National Audit Office reveals that the Treasury has forced DWP to abandon plans it submitted earlier this year for Universal Credit to start to replace Tax Credits from January 2015, writes Brian Wernham.

Surprising highlights from the NAO report:

– The start of Universal Credit replacement of Tax Credits from January 2015 has been abandoned. DWP has delayed plans by at least 2 years for the transfer of the majority of tax credits claimants to Universal Credit to 2019. It does not have plans to transfer the remaining 555,000 tax credit and Employment and Support Allowance claimants before 2020.

– DWP admits that up to at least 239m of IT investment has been wasted to date, up from £131m earlier this year. This will come as no surprise to those who saw my interview on the BBC TV over a year ago.

– The promised end-date has slipped from 2017 to 2019 (and will still not cover 7% of Claimants even at that date)

– Confirmation that Howard Shiplee the ‘Senior Responsible Owner’ (SRO) “since the start of 2014, had been working only one day a week due to ill health and has now left the programme”, and that his deputy also retired at the same time.

– The ‘stepping stones’ towards the final ‘Target Operating Model’ have still not been designed, and so the roll-out plans are still unclear

– The roll-out of the final ‘Digital’ solution has slipped again due to severe staffing problems after DWP threw out the experts seconded from the Cabinet Office GDS.

– There is no contingency plan in case the mobile ready ‘Digital’ solution encounters further problems.

There are further details in Mr Wernham’s article on his own site, and you are strongly urged to visit it, read them, and laugh at any articles you may have read yesterday (Tuesday) in which Iain Duncan Smith made bold claims about Universal Credit.

Despite whatever he said, Universal Credit is going nowhere – and there are no contingency plans to cover its failure.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
bringing you the best of the blogs!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


8 thoughts on “Universal Credit is going nowhere, at high cost – Brian Wernham

  1. Jim Round

    Yes but look over there at what the other lot did whilst rolling out wftc/watch/ctc, they made a mess of it too.
    We’re rolling it out slowly you see, so we can get it right.
    I saw a big cruise ship in the harbour today and there was a oil drum and several planks of wood on the jetty next to it and I thought, I can make something better than that with this, and all the media will say how great I am and…….
    Ian, IAN, wake up, you’re talking bulls**t in you’re sleep again.

  2. Florence

    And yet the Guardian managed to report this as “Labour attacks “glacial pace” of welfare reform”!

    Such disingenuous journalism is hitting new lows, when managing to make it sound like Labour not only want the reforms, but more quickly! Reading the actual article, Rachel reeves is quoted as questioning IDS & DWP competence, and revised roll-out plans against previous failures. The real story, hidden in the article was

    “the National Audit Office which said the project had “weak management, ineffective control and poor governance”.

    Hence the need to question the programme in its entirety, and denounce IDS as the failure he is. At least in Ipswitch when he put in an appearance there were jeers of “murderer”, which highlights the IT failure as perhaps indicative, but not definitive, of his failure as a minister and a human being.

  3. bookmanwales

    Surely by now there must be at least the outline of a case and cause for investigation as to whether IDS should be sectioned under the mental health act.
    Hearing voices ( “do God’s work my son”) a fervent almost manic belief in his own infallibility and the justness of his cause (whilst causing untold misery and death) would see most people securely locked away by now.
    Funny as this may sound it is quite serious, anyone airing in public such utter contempt for certain people would by now be well and truly sectioned.
    Were I to stand on the street and spout all Gays are evil and immoral I would be locked up, were I to stand on the street and spout that God had told me to kill all muslims, jews, catholics etc I would be locked up, However I can be an MP spout all crap about sick, disabled and unemployed being scroungers and workshy (and make tenuous links to crime and immorality ) cause untold deaths and suffering and get away with it.
    There must be some real skeletons in the Tory closet they wish to keep the lid on for this poisonous odious little failure to still be in the job he is least suited for whilst showing such ineptitude and disregard for human suffering.

  4. Chris Kitcher

    After listening to Idiot D-S twice on the radio yesterday it seems to me that the main problem is that this idiot does not listen to anyone or anything. He never bothered to listen to the interviewers’ questions and just maintained a stream of what could only be called verbal diarrhoea, insisting that everyone but him was wrong.

    I appreciate that its too late for Cameron to offer this poisoned chalice to any other MP but surely there has to be a way to stop him wasting money and killing people with his half baked ideology. (Sorry, ideology implies that some thought has gone into this mess but Idiot D-S just isn’t capable of thinking. In fact repeating the same old unsubstantiated rubbish as he does he would make a good but unattractive parrot.)

Comments are closed.