Commenting on the National Audit Office report ‘Universal Credit: early progress’ released today, Imran Hussain, Head of Policy of Child Poverty Action Group, said:
“This report places Universal Credit on the ‘critical list’, cataloguing mistakes and failures that have dogged the project right from the start. The priority now has to be instilling confidence about when it will be delivered and, crucially for families, ensuring that when it’s up and running Universal Credit makes good on claims that it will make work pay and reduce poverty.
“We’re pleased that ministers are slowing down the national roll-out given the sheer pace and scale of the original timetable. For families and advice workers, getting this right matters much more than meeting political deadlines. But ministers should acknowledge that the delay and uncertainty is costly and disruptive to charities and advice agencies working with families who have been gearing up for Universal Credit.
“Even people in the know will wince at parts of the report: that the Government cannot explain why the national roll out of Universal Credit was set for October 2013; that there has never been a ‘convincing strategic plan’ for the project; and that the £303 million already spent on IT has only produced an insecure, inflexible system that is not fit for purpose.
“At the moment, the timetable is up in the air, the project management is all over the place, and the ability of the programme to deliver on its objectives is in real jeopardy.”
• For more information, please contact Imran Hussain, Head of Policy, on 07816909302
• CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.
• CPAG is the host organisation for the Campaign to End Child Poverty, which has over 150 member organisations and is campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is met.
• Key quotes from the NAO report:
o “The source of many problems has been the absence of a detailed view of how Universal Credit is meant to work” [page 33]
o ‘The Department is unable to explain to us why it originally decided to aim for national roll-out from October 2013’ [Para 3.7]
o ‘In early 2013 , it (DWP) did not have a convincing strategic plan in place’ [3.35]
o ‘It is unlikely that UC will be as simple or cheap to administer as originally intended’ [15, summary]
o ‘the Department has not achieved value for money… wider concerns about the Department’s ability to deal with weak programme management, over-optimistic timescales and a lack of openness about progress.’ [23, summary]
Imran Hussain| Head of Policy, Rights & Advocacy | Child Poverty Action Group| 94 White Lion Street | London | N1 9PF
( Main: 020 7837 7979 | ü http://www.cpag.org.uk
Click here to report this email as spam.
Need help with universal credit? See our essential new guide www.cpag.org.uk/bookshop/uc
and training courses www.cpag.org.uk/training/programme-2013-14
Donate online: www.justgiving.com/cpag/Donate
Child Poverty Action Group
94 White Lion Street
This email is confidential and intended for the addressee only. Any dissemination, distribution, copying or use of this communication without prior permission of the addressee is strictly prohibited.
Child Poverty Action Group has taken reasonable precautions to ensure this
communication does not contain viruses. We cannot accept liability for any damage
your system sustains due to software viruses. You should carry out your own virus
checks before opening any attachments.
Child Poverty Action Group is a charity registered in England and Wales (registration number 294841) and in Scotland (registration number SC039339). Company limited by guarantee registered in England (registration number 1993854).Registered office address as above. VAT no. 690 8081 17More Articles by Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) ...