Rebooting the IT for Universal Credit

This morning’s Guardian reports on leaked proposals for Universal Credit, reviewing alternative options for Universal Credit – trying to fix what’s broken, or starting again.  It suggests that whatever the Government does, only 25,000 people would be likely to be within the scheme by the next selection.  That’s out of 8.5 million it’s supposed to cover.  The Government does however have another option, which is to do nothing and pretend.  All it has to do is to say that JSA claimants are now receiving Universal Credit (Jobseeker), or that ESA claimants are receiving Universal Credit (Employment and Support).  This is a much more practical route than all the jiggery-pokery with computers, and the government could say it almost in good faith, knowing that they’ve already introduced several key elements, including online claims, conditionality and the claimant commitment.

4th November:  Computer Weekly has suggested that both options would lead to the bulk of the work done to date on IT being scrapped, either immediately or after a delay.

One comment

  1. AHS : LEPU Journal

    Paul,

    I think the £38 billion figure refers to the administrative benefits that UC is meant to bring, through things like savings in overpayments. The DWP’s assumptions were summarised in the National Audit Office report on Universal Credit implementation that came out earlier this year: Here’s the link: http://www.nao.org.uk/report/universal-credit-early-progress/

    The NAO sets out the DWP’s reasoning on p.15 and again in more detail in annex 4. It’s based on a DWP report that is very well-hidden somewhere in the DWP’s website. A lot of the £38bn appears also to be based on assumed employment gains and something even more nebulous called ‘wider gains to society’. As I understand it, The DWP thinks UC will bring more happiness, which can be valued in cash terms – see the footnote on p. 47.

    Regards,

    Andrew Jones
    Local Economy

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