Let’s just reiterate the fact the Universal Credit was originally predicted to cost £2.2 billion in administration costs, and that figure has now risen to £15.8 billion – more than seven times the original estimate.
A DWP spokesperson is quoted in the Guardian article as saying Universal Credit is on schedule. That is a lie. The original plan was for it to be rolled out nationally in October 2013 for new claimants, with full implementation by 2017. Now the public accounts committee has revealed it will not be fully implemented until 2021 – a delay of four years from the predicted date – and eight years after its initial – botched – introduction.
With the DWP predicting a financial benefit of £6.7 billion per year (for whom?), we can see that it will have a lot of catching-up to do, when it finally arrives… if it finally arrives. Also, it will need to recoup the massive overspend on its development.
Will it ever achieve the financial benefit predicted for it? Doubtful.
It is more likely to be replaced before it is fully implemented.
What a waste of public time and money – but then, that’s all we should expect of Iain ‘Blank Cheque’ Smith and his DWP.
MPs have accused the Department for Work and Pensions of using “evasive” measures to prevent parliament from finding out why there have been yet more delays to the universal credit scheme.
The government’s flagship welfare programme will not be implemented before the autumn of 2021, four years after its completion date, a report by the committee has disclosed.
But Iain Duncan Smith’s department has been accused of blocking MPs as they tried to discover the cause of the delays, how many people they will affect, and how long they will persist.
Meg Hillier, chair of the public accounts committee (PAC), condemned the department for evading MPs’ queries. “The lack of transparency surrounding a programme with such wide-reaching implications for so many people is completely unacceptable,” he said.
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