back to article Who uses the Universal Credit system? ALMOST NOBODY, says report

Very little progress has been made on the Department for Work and Pensions' disastrous Universal Credit programme, with just 0.3 per cent of the eligible population using it, the Public Accounts Committee has said. “As the department has justified this spending on the promise of benefits in the future – such as from higher …

  1. TeeCee Gold badge
    Alert

    120 years.

    Or "240 people will do it in six months if you give us a fuckton of extra cash" as whichever mob is building this will undoubtably point out.

    There must be a reason why that never actually works......

  2. Nigel Whitfield.

    The best plan ...

    ... is probably for an incoming government to scrap this stupid waste of money. And to make IDS personally liable for the bill.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: The best plan ...

      except he's prolly skint and will ponce the cash of his rich father in law.... again

      1. Sir Sham Cad

        Re: The best plan ...

        Nah, he'll just claim it on expenses.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The best plan ...

      The easiest way to complete this project and to roll it out is to reduce the number of people who are going to use it.

      Phase one of this is almost complete by declaring most of the disabled as fit to work so they won't be claiming disability and if they can't get to the job centre because they happen to be somehow malingering in a terminal cancer ward then they won't be given job seeker's allowance either.

      Phase two will be coming soon for sure.

      (AC because of personal experiences of Phase One above)

  3. Thomas Whipp

    I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

    As I read this, it can be summed up as:

    a) Project went badly off tracks - was reset in 2013

    b) Project has now slipped 6m on revised timeline (which for Gov projects is barely anything)

    c) Project is at the end of pilot stage and about to start rollout

    Criticism being levelled:

    a) costs are justified by future benefits

    b) extrapolation of current pilot claimant count leads to long timescales

    Now I'm not an idiot, I don't believe any gov IT project is going to be running smoothly and its always going to cost more than budgeted - but seriously these criticism seem ridiculous. All projects are justified by future benefits and all phased implementations start with small user numbers and then aim to snowball into greater volume.

    1. Valeyard

      Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

      yeah that's what i thought. big banging a release onto millions of people at once is a really stupid idea, so that 18,000 figure strikes me as a phased rollout

      1. Nigel Whitfield.

        Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

        Well, yes, a planned rollout is a good idea.

        However, what they're rolling out, even at this pretty late stage, is still only the phase of the project for single people, which is about the simplest possible case for the system to cope with.

        It's still miles off being able to cope with complex benefit claims - and it's surely those that are the most likely area where it might - just might - be able to save some money.

        So, the small number of people to whom it's being rolled out now is really more a reflection of the fact that they have only just about got it to work for one simple use case, rather than anything else.

        1. Richard Taylor 2

          Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

          All very true. But to assume a linear progression is stupid. It will either crash and burn or go exponential.

    2. Elmer Phud

      Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

      " All projects are justified by future benefits and all phased implementations start with small user numbers and then aim to snowball into greater volume."

      But that's in the REAL world, not that driven by politicians who all want everyne to smell where they have been pissing on lampposts.

      Try putting it in perspective - politicians are like Upper Mangement. They have a shelf life of apparently a few years, the forst part is taken up with making as big a name for themselves as possible and the other two thirds is all about advertising yourself for the days to come.

      'future benefits' -- please, my sides hurt.

    3. amanfromarse
      FAIL

      Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

      The 'future benefits' on which this project was premised have been scaled back numerous times.

      The 'phased implementation' is of a tiny percent of the promised functionality.

      If UC is Excel, then they're rolling out a calculator that can only process 1 + 1 and occasionally returns 2.

      If it's going so well, why are they wasting time on this:

      http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2014/06/26/ids-loses-legal-appeal-to-keep-universal-credit-problems-sec

    4. Primus Secundus Tertius

      Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

      The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is traditionally an opposition MP. This report looks like crude party political sniping.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

        Hodges should go back to avoiding her taxes.

        Is it still half term in some places? There's a lot of pro-Labour comments on here today.

        1. Richard Taylor 2

          Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

          No. Anti government waste that has occurred under recent administrations of all colours. Go back to the Daily Fail if you can't read.

          1. El_Fev

            Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

            @Richard Taylor 2

            Oh keep quite , you obviously know jack. This combining benefits will cut done on fruad as well as make it simpler to cliam, which is why Labour is not talking about going back to the old way. As for monetary waste , the biggest actual estimate is what £200 Million .. that is F*ck All compared to what Labour wasted in the NHS IT project , that went into £10 Billion and counting, its £300 Million less than we wasted in the failed courts IT system , it does not even register when compared to the Defence projects.

            So lets cut down on the hyperbole, and you can look forwad to another 5 years watching labou sit on the side lines as other people clear up their mess!

        2. Lyndon Hills 1

          Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

          Sorry to see you down voted. that made me laugh, and I'm way left of New Labour.

    5. El_Fev

      Re: I struggle to know how seriously to take this...

      Hey stop using common sense, what will the leftie scroungers whine about!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new here.

    The committe recently accused him of 'obfuscation, hubris and smoke and mirrors', apparently.

    Doesn't that mean they accused him of being a polititian?

    1. SolidSquid

      Re: Nothing new here.

      Either that or a magician, in which case I'd suggest Derren Brown for PM

  5. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Minor flaw

    "...and for in-coming government to have a credible plan."

    What are the odds of one of those ever getting elected?

    1. David Pollard

      What are the odds?

      Roughly similar to the chance that my one vote will change the outcome.

  6. JDX Gold badge

    Finally

    A government prepared to commit to long-term projects!

  7. Richard Taylor 2
    Facepalm

    While I am (un) happy to believe this very predictable car crash run by the deluded IDS will fail, the so called analyst is an idiot

    Brian Wernham, independent analyst and author of Agile Project Management for Government estimates it will take the DWP another 120 years to reach its roll-out target, on the basis of its current rate of getting active on-board.

    A linear estimate of take up is idiotic. But then I suppose he did write 'Agile Project Management for Government' and look where that got us... Get the processes right, get the loading and performance right and after you have debugged the humans in the loop then take up becomes some exponential to the limit of the number of users.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't the W&P Secretary say...

    The roll-out of universal credit will cost less than expected and is being carefully delivered "stage-by-stage"

    So, the secret is out!! They plan on being in power for the next 120 years....

  9. Christoph

    Benefits of benefits

    "As the department has justified this spending on the promise of benefits in the future – such as from higher employment "

    You don't get higher employment by Belgiuming about with the benefits system. You don't get higher employment by starving people for the crime of being out of work. You get higher employment by making more jobs available.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Benefits of benefits

      @ Christoph

      "You get higher employment by making more jobs available."

      Government cannot create jobs. They can take them away though.

      1. Nigel Whitfield.

        Re: Benefits of benefits

        And one of the ways in which it can take away jobs - especially at the very low end of the market - is by demanding that people do some of those jobs (stacking shelves, working in care homes) as 'work experience' or 'voluntary community work' in return for a level of benefits that is not even equivalent to the minimum wage.

        Why should a charitiy or company employee someone on minimum wage when the job centre will just send them a serf?

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Benefits of benefits

          @ Nigel Whitfield.

          "Why should a charitiy or company employee someone on minimum wage when the job centre will just send them a serf?"

          This policy does show the absurdity of taxing people out of work onto a welfare system that prohibits their working. The end result was people not working and living on benefits which for some was seen as a desirable life (I know some of these people) and others were just trapped and vilified for it.

          Unfortunately the solution from the gov is to make people work to earn the benefits but not addressing the problem of expense in hiring more staff/getting employed.

      2. maccy
        FAIL

        Re: Benefits of benefits

        Of course a government can create jobs you tit. DWP just created a whole load of jobs for IT workers struggling to create Universal Credit. And apparently they don't even need to produce a working system at the end of it.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Benefits of benefits

          @ maccy

          "Of course a government can create jobs you tit. DWP just created a whole load of jobs for IT workers"

          And how many jobs are lost in the private sector (the money making sector) to pay for these public workers (the money spending sector)? All of the money the DWP has to splash on this problem is money taken from the economy which would be used to keep things going. And as you say the end result is an expensive system at the end of it. If I remember the figure correctly for every 1 public worker there is at least 1 private worker made unemployed.

          1. Richard Taylor 2

            Re: Benefits of benefits

            Methinks not. For every government worker lost, two become available in th lost cost, sub minimal wage private sector shurely. Or get outsourced overseas.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Benefits of benefits

      You get higher employment by removing the 100% effective tax rate that these people face at the moment, so there is a financial benefit to doing a few hours of work. For some people, the experience gained from these few hours of work per week will lead to more work in the future and eventually a full time job.

  10. bailey86

    Smells to me like a difficult problem which they are trying to sort out properly. Everyone always underestimates the costs/time required to do the job solidly - and a reset makes perfect sense. It's well know then version 1.0 is how you analyse the problem and version 2.0 is where you may get things right.

    1. Sarah Balfour
      Unhappy

      spoken like someone who knows fuck all about UC

      UC was Idiot Dickhead Shit's crackpot idea to pay us disabled less money. He believed that, if we got it all as one payment, it'd seem like we had loadsamoney because he thinks we're all stupid, and completely incapable of realising that the lump sum equated to <33% LESS than what all our entitlements would have toted up to individually.

      Oh and don't buy into the myth that IDS is skint, he's got a bit, he's just too tight to use it.

      He claimed over £6k for Flash All-Purpose wipes between September and December last year - that's 360k wipes worth. Except it isn't, because he was charging the taxpayer up to £20 a wipe. I obtained his expenses under the FoIA.

      1. El_Fev

        Re: spoken like someone who knows fuck all about UC

        @ Sarah Balfour

        I assume your disability means that you more than enough free time to post on the Register! Hey guess what, us able bodied people are having to take cuts as well, because Labour was so crap, they could not regulate the banks and then made us pay for them. The money tree is over. You will get what we can afford to give you, you think its crap? then take advantage of free EU movement!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Up until now only a tiny percentage of the population have been directed to make benefit claims for Universal Credit - essentially just single people who would otherwise claim JSA in the catchment areas of a few job centres.

    It hasn't been something people have had a choice about (nor is it something people will have a choice about in future).

    As such the number of people using the system up until now is in no way indicative of how many will use it in the future.

  12. illiad

    I guess its as bad as their 'universal jobmatch' website, that looks and acts badly, like something used in 1990... It can only 'save' up to FOUR job descriptions, and even the Sinclair spectrum graphics look 'advanced' by comparison!!! LOLOL

    That, and the misguided belief that a user name like 1642 3161 3498 is 'the best one' ... :O :O

    text-entry boxes cannot handle &, # or < for some reason????

  13. P0l0nium

    When I first heard the term "Universal Credit" I thought;

    "Finally... They're going to save money by closing down the entire "wurk and penshun" bureaucracy and they'll simply give every adult £100 a week.

    Anyone who can't live on £100 a week can visit a soup-kitchen".

    But no, the madness continues.

    1. beast666

      That's a good idea. Except people can only live on £100 a week if their rent is paid as well...

  14. cantankerous swineherd

    would be easier and cheaper to run the economy at full employment.

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