DWP universal credit watch - two more areas down, on track for 2030 target

Mon, 24/02/2014 - 13:19 -- nick

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced its latest universal credit rollout.

Two new areas will implement the scheme from today - the unemployment hotspots of Bath and Harrogate.

It is only up and running in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Hammersmith, Inverness and Rugby as the IT system has consistently failed to deliver, with Iain Duncan Smith criticised for his incompetent management of it.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud encouraged this foot-dragging rollout, saying:

"We are introducing Universal Credit in a slow, safe and controlled way."

So slow is the introduction that if two areas introduce universal credit each month, with hundreds of jobcentre areas the final jobcentre would not deliver it until sometime after 2030.

The timetable has been put back again and again, and 2017 is Smith's latest guess, but at its current rate it could see at least four more governments come and go.

The benefit is not the solution to the problems of unemployed people - only higher levels of payments and better services can really help - and the government's apparent lack of competence and interest in the issue shows its general contempt for workless people.

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