Universal Credit: £15.8 billion for a computer system that isn’t needed

With the built-in 42-day delay in benefit payments, Universal Credit can easily be calculated by hand – so the only reason the taxpayer can possibly have been made to spend so much money on a computer scheme is to keep the money from being used elsewhere.

Have you noticed that the £15.8 billion, quoted in this article from the summer, is less than the amount George Osborne wants to cut from the Department for Work and Pensions’ budget?

To a Tory, it seems any price is worth paying if it harms the poor.

The overall cost of Iain Duncan Smith’s key welfare scheme appears to have risen by £3bn to £15.8bn in two years, according to an official report that shows several other significant government programmes are also in danger of collapsing.

Universal credit, the troubled programme that plans to roll six welfare benefits into one payment, has also suffered a further year’s delay and will not be fully implemented until 2020.

Source: Labour says universal credit will take 495 years to roll out as costs rise £3bn | Society | The Guardian

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23 thoughts on “Universal Credit: £15.8 billion for a computer system that isn’t needed

  1. Florence

    I don’t think that amount is just for the IT system. It is a for an IT system to keep 7 million households (ie in excess of 20 million men women & children) under close supervision. The close supervision element will inevitably include outsourced service providers who are being turfed off the utterly failed Work Programme contracts. At the moment, administration and outsourced services for the unemployed cost twice as much as the actual benefits paid. Have we all forgotten the calls for tender for residential service providers before the last election? That won’t be cheap, even if it is nasty.

    Where else will they put the families who are homeless and destitute, as a result of all benefit sanctions/ conditionality/ sheer bloody poverty that will save that £7 billion per year (instead of the projected £21 billion increase that would happen if all were given all the benefits they were entitled to, but at present are unclaimed)? All that re-education, “training” and supervision will cost a lot. Remeber the services to be provided in the residential services was to include budgeting, household skill, like cooking, and of course the magical sounding “managing expectations about life chances”. Oh yes, m’lud, m’lady, tug forelock.

    1. Sarah Cox

      im sorry but if you believe that you live in lala land! residential services might have been called for… those calls certainly were not listened to, and none have been put in place! if anything they have been cut back even further!
      where else will they put the destitute families?? good bloody question mate! but i dont think you are going to get an answer, because there is nowhere! and they dont much care either!
      i work in homeless charities and the local food bank and i encounter the victims of these brutal cutbacks every day!
      in my area alone they have closed down 3 temporary accomodation blocks, selling them off to property developers to turn into apartments that nobody round here can afford! the third and last temporary accomodation block of flats was sold 6 mths ago … those spaces were just eliminated, they dont exist any more, nothing was put there in their place! … and they have just announced that the ONLY emergency accomodation hostel between eastbourne and brighton (that you go to in emergency to be processed into temporary accom) is to be shut down and sold off….
      there is no longer any money for mental health and i know many people who have serious mental health issues, whose CPNs have been cut despite them being entitled to one… they just get told ‘cutbacks, there isnt one’
      as for the destitute families… now if someone cant find a sympathetic freind or relative to take them in, they get told they have a duty of care to the children but not the adults… so if you cant find anywhere safe for you and your kids, we will take them into care untill such time as you get yourself housed!!!!
      they have people fighting like dogs, 50 applicants per position! over non existent and dead end jobs that dont even bring you above the poverty line, so you are still on benefits whether you work or not!
      i swear to god this is true, and this is REALLY wats happening, in real terms, in real life!
      and that out of touch, smug, shiny headed imbecile needs arresting for the amount of tax payers money he has wasted! and for witholding the information of his regimes victims, among many other crimes against humanity!
      he is literally a murderer!

      1. Florence

        Then we agree on so much more that your opening remarks suggest! There are residential training units already in place, mostly for very specialist services for specific disability groups – such as the blind. The call for tender, even if not fulfilled (and if you have any information about this I’d be glad to hear it) showed the obvious tendency of the neocons for some form of compulsory re-education, although ATM it is going into the Job Centres / CBT etc. I agree entirely it is a crisis for jobs & homes, and it is being used to punish the most vulnerable.

  2. MarkG

    How is this incompetent cruel cowardly sociopathic b…..d still in a job. He has his own mini holocaust going on of which the so called free press ignores. Lord Gideon of Wis has taken to much sherbet,I bet IDS has the photos. He must have a lot of blackmail material or its the Tory’s being Tory’s. Arrogant undemocratic Nazis. I believe the last election was rigged and need the UN to look over the next election, after all we are a third world country now. People starving and dying, forced out of their homes because of the governments hatred of their own citizens. The Tory’s are a cancer.

  3. Mr.Angry

    I find this hard to digest 15.8 billion pound and rising whilst people need food banks.

    Where is the body that oversees the costs involved on government projects this should be given a flood of red lights never mind amber.

    Osborne ranting on about 12 billion of welfare cuts whilst the evil being above is spending these ridiculous amounts on a hair brain ill thought out scheme.

    The photo above shows the contempt written all over his evil face.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      In fairness, Universal Credit has been under a red light for a considerable number of years.

  4. wildthing666

    With the built-in 42-day delay in benefit payments, Universal Credit can easily be calculated by hand – so the only reason the taxpayer can possibly have been made to spend so much money on a computer scheme is to keep the money from being used elsewhere.

    It’s because the DWP Muppet’s cannot add up they could use an Abacus but they are that stupid they make Harry Enfield’s Tim nice but dim look like he has an IQ over 160

  5. bryan

    this government is just taking money from the poor sick and elderly.If we have money to kill people why not to help people..Any country that spends more money on the armed forces than education cannot be called civilized.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      In fairness, we don’t.
      Education gets around £89 billion while defence gets slightly more than half that amount, at £45 billion.

  6. Dez

    The guy is a total failure unable to manage anything…..in real world commerce he would be out on his backside way before this disaster has got to anywhere near this point. That assumes there was anyone in charge of him that had the management skills to see a crock of poo before it hits the fan. Unfortunately the Camoron, or any of his leftovers team, have not got the management skills to dump the lump.

  7. fathomie

    The best part of this, is that the system was a fiasco from day one. It has never worked properly, and it was also exclusively IDS’s brainchild. Of course the net result of that failure was not IDS getting the push, or publicly apologising, oh no, he simply sacked the head of the DWP…

  8. mrmarcpc

    This is one of the most expensive failures that’s ever been created by a government, it’s not working properly, it should’ve been up and running by now but it isn’t and it’s costing us all a bloody fortune, but what else do you expect with IDS at the helm, a failed tory leader and human being. No one can waste money like politicians, especially the tories. Time IDS, the whole lot of them and this costly disaster were gotten shot of!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I can’t speak for the unions but it has been a long time since the Opposition was as dedicated to opposing as it is now.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        What action are you looking for, exactly?
        You do understand how Parliament works, don’t you?

      2. ghost whistler

        Parliament doesn’t work. That much is obvious.

        We’ve had no opposition for at least 5 years.

        Anyone thinking that voting Labour, or indeed voting per se, is going to change anything is not only deluding themselves vbut actively hindering the only process that will bring about change. If people aren’t prepared to use direct action then they’d best be prepared for more Tory oppression.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        There has been a huge amount of opposition in the last five years; looking at the way the original plan to bomb Syria was overthrown in 2013. That didn’t happen without opposition to David Cameron and his Tories!
        Your anti-democracy claims are more likely to keep the Conservatives in office than anything else. If anybody has had enough of the Tories, they should vote Labour and see for themselves what change can happen, rather than heeding naysayers who – be honest with yourself – have no evidence to support their words.

  9. William Ford

    Wonder if this has anything to do with Finland planning to stop all Benefits along the line that all adults are given *8ooEuros per month. Am sure that will be in the option in cutting out Benefits for all as this Option should cover it all?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I think you may be mixing two separate things.
      Either that, or I’m completely misunderstanding you.

Comments are closed.