Junior DWP staffer tells IDS facts about Universal Credit to his face – Political Scrapbook

[Image: Political Scrapbook.]

[Image: Political Scrapbook.]

This may have happened last week, but is well worth highlighting again. Political Scrapbook tells us:

With Iain Duncan Smith touring the Potemkin Village jobcentres actually delivering Universal Credit last week, DWP spinners may regret inviting the local press — after a member of staff told the work and pensions secretary to his face that his flagship initiative was hamstrung by “regular glitches” and “poor communication” from officials.

The trip went off-message on a visit to Nelson jobcentre in East Lancashire, described by IDS as ‘small but perfectly formed’ — a poignant description given the difficulties in scaling the new benefit when you’ve been forced to write off at least £140 million of IT.

The North West embarrassment comes after an internal DWP memo entitled “Ideas please: Sinking” was leaked to Channel 4 Dispatches amid reports that backlogs were growing at the handful of centres operating the scheme.

And to top it off, he turned up 70 minutes late. But at least he had an excuse to hand:

“Arbitrary dates and deadlines are the enemy of secure delivery.”

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  1. M de Mowbray February 11, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

    IDS turned up late did he? Others get SANCTIONED by his draconian system for being 1 minute late, even though many of them do not have a chauffeur-driven luxury car to get them to their appointment and have to rely on public transport. How similar to a certain 1930s and 1940s moustachioed German Chancellor who decided that he and his cronies were NOT obliged to follow the same rules and standards as those that he created for everyone else

  2. Patrick February 11, 2015 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Let’s hope he’s not next on the dole queue!

  3. Mr.Angry February 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    This man is an absolute embarrassment to UK politics and the nation hardly surprising his visit was kept quiet. After all he was coming to the North West where the resentment of him is at a maximum. His time will come I know it, wonder if he will risk a visit to Liverpool being the coward he is very much doubt it.

  4. joanna may February 11, 2015 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Ouch!! where do we send flowers?

  5. joanna may February 11, 2015 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    That wasn’t meant to be insulting, The Lady deserves a medal!!!

  6. fcuk the tory scim February 11, 2015 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    This b*****d as blood on it’s hand Karma will prevail it always does, this callous b*****d will need 24 hour armed protection for the rest of its sad little sponging life!! rest in peace to all the people it has killed he needs to be in prison!!

  7. Susan February 11, 2015 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    the junior deserves a big pat on the back!!!

  8. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7) February 11, 2015 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Mike, the nationwide roll-out of Universal Credit begins next Monday and will undoubtedly be plagued with problems that the right-wing media will fail to report due to the looming general election. I posted the below yesterday:

    More than half of social landlords have reported that their IT systems are limiting their ability to prepare for universal credit.

    The poll of social landlords, carried out by Sheffield Hallam University for software firm Housing Partners, found 56% of landlords think their IT systems are hampering their ability to cope with direct payment of benefit to tenants under universal credit.

    The poll asked landlords ‘is anything limiting your ability to prepare for direct payments?’, and allowed them to choose more than one answer from a list of options. More than half cited ‘suitability of IT systems’ as a limiting factor with a third of landlords saying it is difficult for them to pull together data from different systems.

    The report said ‘limited functionality of IT systems and the fact that some information remains paper-based’ is likely to explain why some landlords are finding it difficult to access information on tenants.

    The study also found 39% of landlords keep information on more than one electronic system, while 42% keep information on electronic and paper-based systems.

    Three quarters of landlords cited ‘availability of data about tenants’ as a factor limiting their ability to prepare for direct payments. The government last month changed the law to allow the Department for Work and Pensions to share personal data with social landlords, councils and charities.

    Under universal credit a number of different benefits, including housing benefit, are merged into one monthly payment paid direct to households.

  9. Sasson Hann February 11, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    They can roll out UC all they like, but I won’t be paying 5 weeks rent in advance, that is for sure!

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