Jobcentre staff are keeping desperate claimants in the dark about same-day advance payments of Universal Credit — because it costs the DWP £6 process the transfer. An undercover reporter for Channel 4 Dispatches — posing as a trainee — was also told not to tell claimants about the Flexible Support Fund, used to cover jobseekers’ interview travel costs and […]

Can the DWP get anything right? With Universal Credit now delayed by two more years to 2019, it turns out that Iain Duncan Smith’s department can’t even answer basic questions about the scheme within a reasonable timescale: “The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the […]

A former confidant of Iain Duncan Smith has dramatically turned on him over Universal Credit, making claims in a radio interview that completely undermine not only press briefings on the botched project — but statements by the cabinet minister to parliament. Stephen Brien is credited as being the ‘architect’ of Universal Credit. Having developed the policy while working at […]

More on the “success” that is Iain Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit: Last year social landlords were warning that replacing housing benefit (with payments to them) with Universal Credit (and direct payments to tenants) would prove a nightmare for those that had difficulty managing their money — and could possibly lead to evictions. And so it has […]

Suffice it to say that DWP are cock-a-hoop with the latest employment stats — turning the @dwppressoffice Twitter into a blizzard of pre-prepared infographics. But there was another set of figures released today which they seem less keen on highlighting: Universal Credit. To August 2014 they’ve had 13,260 starters on the new benefit — a mere 986,740 behind their […]

Labour’s urgent question on Tory ministers’ grossly misleading Universal Credit claims set the scene for fiery Commons exchanges — with Speaker Bercow reprimanding shadow minister Chris Bryant (1:57 above) for effectively calling the DWP team liars: “There has been so much beating about the bush that it is beginning to feel that this house has been misled […]

Universal Credit is really on the ropes now — with the Public Accounts Committee forcing mandarins to admit that the Treasury hasn’t actually signed off on the project: “We shouldn’t beat about the bush: it hasn’t been signed off. What we’ve had is a set of conditional reassurances about progress and the Treasury have released money […]