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Friday, 11 October 2013

Universal Credit system: 'Not Fit For Purpose' - Expel Iain Duncan Smith from Parliament

Benefit Claimants cannot access new Universal Credit online - Sack IDS

The online application system for Universal Credit in piloted areas are proving problematic for the community’s benefits claimants, according to local Citizens Advice.


The findings, which suggest problems are beginning to emerge ahead of Universal Credit’s nationwide implementation, have been released ahead of an in-depth analysis of the benefits scheme to be aired on BBC Radio 4.

Citizen’s Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy has said that the issues with the IT system should be a “clear warning sign to ministers” that many future claimants of the benefit will require help, both in managing their budget and in dealing with the new online forms.

Indeed, a recent study by the charity revealed that nine out of ten people say they will need some form of support in moving on to the new system.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said, “Ministers have been worryingly unclear about how they will help people who cannot deal with online forms and who are already struggling to meet their living costs.

“Introducing such a major reform slowly is sensible, but there are major problems coming further down the line unless ministers strengthen the help given to people as the new benefit is rolled-out more widely.

“The difficulties reported from Tameside are a clear warning sign that people will need strong local support to manage the new online claims system”.

Nigel Morgan, from Tameside Citizens Advice Bureau, added, “Being part of this pilot is an important role and has meant we’ve had to significantly change what help we give to our clients.

“I’m worried that when people who have got children, or who are sick, disabled or have mental health issues start getting the new benefit, they’ll need really targeted support which will put huge pressure on our resources.

“My team and I will always do what we can to help our clients but we need a stronger helping hand from ministers so we can give our clients the reassurance they will need that this new system will work for them.”

Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants added, "Iain Duncan Smith has lost all control of his department and, this proves yet again that he his an 'habitual liar' - frankly, he has now lost control of the truth. Iain Duncan Smith has committed #contempt of Parliament and should be #expelled

Our petition demands this 'habitual liar' be expelled from the House of Commons http://t.co/hfNFZ1u3Ow

Trades Union Congress (TUC)’s general secretary Frances O'Grady described the report as “a damning indictment of what happens when one minister’s ill-thought out hobby horse replaces proper policy development”.

She added: “The National Audit Office has exposed what a mess the government is making of implementing Universal Credit, which now appears to be a dysfunctional money pit”.

O’Grady called on the government to focus their energies on developing a modern welfare system which provides support to those who need help.

The report published by the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed that the Department for Work and Pensions - DWP achieved poor value for money in its implementation of the benefits programme, was “overly ambitious” in both the timetable and its scope.

The watchdog has slammed the government’s flagship programme Universal Credit for having “weak management, ineffective control and poor governance”. #NAO calls for the Department to scale back its delivery ambition, set out realistic plans and put in place strong discipline.

Universal Credit, a new single monthly benefit payment introduced in April to parts of Greater Manchester and Cheshire, was delayed at the start of the year due to technical glitches.

Universal Credit system: 'Not Fit For Purpose' - Expel Iain Duncan Smith from Parliament
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