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Snugglybear

Universal Credit Not Guaranteed To Succeed

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How many here will be saying "We told you so", "Well, duh", "It was blatantly obvious", and similar?

This from the Torygraph (other news outlets are available) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10079716/Major-Coalition-projects-like-aircraft-carriers-welfare-reforms-and-broadband-roll-out-questioned-by-official-Whitehall-report.html

" A Whitehall audit released last night discloses that officials have warned that billions of pounds of public money is in jeopardy because of the poorly-managed reforms.

The publication of the report from the Major Projects Authority - on the eve of a Bank Holiday weekend when MPs have started a long holiday - sparked accusations of “burying bad news” as the audit paints a damning picture of the Coalition’s competency.

The Major Projects Authority was founded in 2010 with a mandate from David Cameron to turn around the Civil Service’s record of delivering projects. Its report uses by a traffic light system to rate the risk of delivery of every one of the Coalition’s 191 spending projects, which are so large that they provide Treasury approval.

Of the 191 schemes, 32 are defined as either “red” or “amber/red”. which means that they are unachievable or in doubt. Red means that “successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable”, with “major issues on project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable”.

A red classification also means that the “project may need re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed”. Amber/red means that “successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas. Urgent action is needed to ensure these are addressed, and whether resolution is feasible”.

Red projects include the two Ministry of Defence's new £7billion aircraft carriers, the £5billion West Coast Mainline scheme and a shared services project at Ministry of Justice. Amber/red schemes include many of Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms, which are worth billions, including the Universal Credit scheme and reforms to the Disability Living Allowance, child maintenance and benefit cap. Other amber/red projects were the roll out of broadband across the country, the Government’s high speed rail 2 programme and the sale of the Student Loans book.

Last night Margaret Hodge MP, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said she would be ask the National Audit Office to examine the report as part of an investigation. She said: “We are pleased that this long overdue report has been put into the public domain. It confirms our fears that there are far too many badly managed major projects in Whitehall. What is a particular worry is that key political priorities are in a mess right across Government. In these straitened times taxpayers simply can’t afford this lack of control and the extra money that will be wasted as a result of that. One is left wondering this why this important information was put out one hour before everyone went home for the bank holiday?”

A source close to Ed Miliband said: “David Cameron promised change but instead we are seeing collapse. He has failed to cut the deficit and this report shows he is failing to deliver major projects he promised the country. “Slipping out the news at just before 5pm on a Bank Holiday weekend is a shoddy attempt at burying bad news. It will not work. The public will see David Cameron is a Prime Minister who is out of touch, failing to deliver and standing aside as he has no answers to the problems the country faces.”

In a foreword, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “We have a long way to go to ensure that our project delivery matches what the public expect”. He admitted that “by their very nature these works are high risk and innovative. They often break new ground and dwarf anything the private sector does in both scale and complexity. They will not always run to plan. Public scrutiny, however uncomfortable, will bring about improvement. Ending the lamentable record of failure to deliver these projects is our priority.”

He added: “Transparency is not easy. We are taking a big step by publishing this honest appraisal of our major projects. A tradition of Whitehall secrecy is being overturned. And while previous Governments buried problems under the carpet, we are striving to be more open.”

A senior Government source admitted that “publication of this information is a difficult moment for the Government”. The source told The Daily Telegraph: “But the situation is being turned around, we inherited a completely lamentable situation within the civil service when we were elected with billions of pounds of taxpayers money being wasted.”

Cabinet Office sources insisted that it had published the information late on Friday because of the scale of the challenge to bring together all the data across Whitehall.

The Department of Work and Pensions said the report contained out of date information from September last year. A spokesman said: "This rating reflects where the project was eight months ago rather than now. "Since this September 2012 assessment, the Universal Credit Pathfinder has successfully launched and David Pitchford - the Government's leading expert in major projects - has put in place a strengthened plan and leadership team. We are on course to begin the national roll-out of Universal Credit in October 2013.""

Note that the DWP says that the "Universal Credit Pathfinder has successfully launched" but does not mention that it includes only the simplest cases at one (1) Jobcentre. And that they are "on course to begin the national roll-out of Universal Credit in October 2013", not that they definitely will be able to or that it will work if they do.

List of red and amber/red projects under the Torygraph article. Report itself here https://engage.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/major-projects-authority/

(Story re-paragaphed by me to take up less space)

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Anything that involves civil servants, especially if involving input from the more well paid ones, is destined to fail miserably.

The government could save a fortune by sacking them all and starting again from scratch.

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Anything that involves civil servants, especially if involving input from the more well paid ones, is destined to fail miserably.

The government could save a fortune by sacking them all and starting again from scratch.

What?

Most civil servants (99%) have nothing to do with the design or implementation of these large-scale projects. Universal Credit was Iain Duncan Smith's stupid idea, who has ignored the myriad criticisms of the project throughout the time he has been in office.

It was never possible to reform the benefits system in the way he planned. Other reforms of things like WTC, the NMW, pensions etc, were needed first.

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I think IDS is reasonably well-meaning in his ideas but ...

ex-Military officer type are, in the main, dumb as pig sh1t.

The whole UC scheme depends on a lot of software.

You can just see them' Bladdy computers. Very smart. Excellent!Its like typing isn't it' etc etc etc.

Good luck in rolling out to the job centres. I have experience from both ends - 3 months claimign when I was 20 and attempts to put a job ad in the system via one of the assitants. Neither experience filled me with much hope of Job Centre staff being able to do much.

UC will be hijacked to roll back that cret1n Brown's tax credit, which has stuffed money into the poor's mouths for 10 years and is now going to pulled back, leaving the poor even moor desolate and unemployable.

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Anything that involves civil servants, especially if involving input from the more well paid ones, is destined to fail miserably.

The government could save a fortune by sacking them all and starting again from scratch.

I have no particular sympathy for the civil servants but what has it got to do with them? This look like it was engineered to fail.

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What?

Most civil servants (99%) have nothing to do with the design or implementation of these large-scale projects. Universal Credit was Iain Duncan Smith's stupid idea, who has ignored the myriad criticisms of the project throughout the time he has been in office.

It was never possible to reform the benefits system in the way he planned. Other reforms of things like WTC, the NMW, pensions etc, were needed first.

That's it exactly. Is it simply ego that he didn't reform segment by segment?

We had the tale this week of someone defrauding benefits by claiming all 5 children as disabled. It beggars belief that this was not spotted, and nothing in the reforms appears to address it.

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Does it really matter. Even if UC does go ahead it won't change anything. Just been doing a bit of research into it and it seems it will up hold current benefit levels and the only change is that if you work a few more hours in your low paid job you will get even more help so that your 25 hour minimum wage job gives you the same disposable income as someone on circa £70k (see other thread). They are tinkering around the edges. The proletariat are so dependent on benefits now that even the Tories fear weaning them off their benefit crack is not a good idea.

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The ironic thing is as well UC isnt reform.It doesnt tackle any of the problems in the welfare system.In theory it does try to deal with the problem of people working the minimum to get the maximum but that will fail.No stick ever works in welfare apart from cuts to headline benefit rates.

So we have the same system as tax credits under a different name that will save nothing and do nothing to free people from state support.The only gainers will be welfare to work providers who might be able to punish the odd part time worker.

The only answer to welfare is a citizens wage.Failing that,keep tax credits but lower the allowable earnings limit to £1000 a year and replace child tax credit paid per child to family tax credit paid once.

Once all benefits are removed whatever family size at the £12k level it removes most of the perverse incentives.It also stops wage subsidy for employers.

UC even if it works (it wont) wont save any money and will do nothing to control welfare spending or the terrible outcomes.

Only real welfare reform will do that,and real welfare reform needs and will be very harsh.I expect UC will come in and be a disaster and id also expect going forward more reform inside UC.Lower income disregards,reform around how many children,and reform around conditionality.

The fact the government have made a massive mess of welfare reform is shocking.It could of been so much easier,and long term far better.

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IDS up before the Work and Pensions Select Committee over his abuse of statistics.

With deceptively little fanfare, the work and pensions select committee has announced that it intends to question Iain Duncan Smith over his misuse of statistics. After IDS was rebuked by the UK Statistics Authority for falsely claiming that 8,000 people had moved into work as a result of the introduction of the benefit cap, the committee has "decided to examine the way DWP releases benefit statistics to the media".

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Does it really matter. Even if UC does go ahead it won't change anything. Just been doing a bit of research into it and it seems it will up hold current benefit levels and the only change is that if you work a few more hours in your low paid job you will get even more help so that your 25 hour minimum wage job gives you the same disposable income as someone on circa £70k (see other thread). They are tinkering around the edges. The proletariat are so dependent on benefits now that even the Tories fear weaning them off their benefit crack is not a good idea.

Correct.The only real gainers from UC are people working from 3 hours to around 9 hours.For everyone else nothing changes.

Conditionality around part time work is a big change and would start to work.The problem is it will never ever be used.The chances of part time workers being sanctioned are about 0.

UC is strange in that it takes all the worst parts of tax credits and all the worst parts of income support and puts them together.It also missed all the massive wide open areas that they could of reformed within UC (mainly around children/work hours/disability).Unless they create a system that is means tested away very quickly by restricting from child amounts to family amounts we get nowhere.

As an aside a family members child has just had 2 children at 19.They of course have never worked,nor will ever work.Their benefits are £290 a week cash,£130 a week rent paid(nice free house),council tax and all sundry expenses.The other sibling works full time in a minimum wage job and has to live at home.Him and his girlfriend are going to go down the same route as they know tax credits/benefits are the only way they can ever "get on".

Great work IDS.

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How could you fairly sanction part-time workers? You can't possilbly have a rule that fits everyone.

The Job Centre / private sector firm staff tell the claimant "You have to ask your employer for more hours". Is the claimant then sanctioned, despite the employer saying he/she can't have any extra hours? Can the claiming appeal, having, say, a letter from the employer saying "I don't want X to work any extra hours, or not regularly anyway, I only want X to work the hours I actually have any work for X" (and how thrilled employers are going to be if they're expected to provide this kind of evidence).

Or the claimant is told "You have to look for another part-time job". Where? According to the ONS, there were 3.05 million people in employment but wanting to work more hours in November 2012 - God knows what the figure is by now.

Anyway, many employers don't want one full-time worker, they want two or three part-time workers, who get the busy hours as core hours (if they even have core hours) and don't have to be paid when things go quiet. And employer A doesn't want part-time workers being forced to find other part-time jobs with employer B, as that would mean they wouldn't be available to come in to do odds and sods of hours when employer A likes.

Edited by Snugglybear

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How could you fairly sanction part-time workers? You can't possilbly have a rule that fits everyone.

The Job Centre / private sector firm staff tell the claimant "You have to ask your employer for more hours". Is the claimant then sanctioned, despite the employer saying he/she can't have any extra hours? Can the claiming appeal, having, say, a letter from the employer saying "I don't want X to work any extra hours, or not regularly anyway, I only want X to work the hours I actually have any work for X" (and how thrilled employers are going to be if they're expected to provide this kind of evidence).

Or the claimant is told "You have to look for another part-time job". Where? According to the ONS, there were 3.05 million people in employment but wanting to work more hours in November 2012 - God knows what the figure is by now.

Anyway, many employers don't want one full-time worker, they want two or three part-time workers, who get the busy hours as core hours (if they even have core hours) and don't have to be paid when things go quiet. And employer A doesn't want part-time workers being forced to find other part-time jobs with employer B, as that would mean they wouldn't be available to come in to do odds and sods of hours when employer A likes.

Well quite.Plus of course these employers can only do that because of tax credits/UC etc.They would sanction on work activity id think.They would rotate and call people in for the hours they arent working and put them on courses/workfare etc.Its about making it difficult to encourage people to get off the system.

Of course it wont work and id be very surprised if many/any part time workers are sanctioned.

One twist is job centre staff in theory will end up sanctioning other job centre staff.

I have a feeling if UC comes in and once te government see its failing in this regards job centre staff and workfare providers will simply send info to some office somewhere who will hand out sanctions.

If they do hand out treatment to part time workers the same as they do now to people on JSA a lot of people are in for a shock.However i dont think there is any chance of that in the short term.

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<snip>They would rotate and call people in for the hours they arent working and put them on courses/workfare etc.Its about making it difficult to encourage people to get off the system.<snip>

If they do this, and the part-time workers get offered occasional / casual extra hours on days/weeks they're supposed to be on courses/workfare, they'd either have to turn down the extra hours or be sanctioned. If they turned down the hours, they'd explain to the employer that it's not their choice, they're being forced to by the JC etc staff, as they couldn't afford to live on just what the employer pays them lose their tax credits and other benefits. Oh how happy the employers would be.

I suspect IDS and those who agree with him think that when/if part-time workers are affected, it'll only be the bleeding-heart liberals who'll complain. I doubt whether they know enough about the real job market to know that employers' organisations are going to be lobbying if the changes start impacting on them.

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The trend toward ever more 'flexible' working is fundamentally incompatible with a vast bureaucratic edifice like the welfare system. So we have a basic contradiction between the notion that a 'hire and fire' zero hours, part time style work environment is the way to ensure maximum employment and the demand from the welfare drones that their 'clients' adhere to a tightly defined set of criteria as to how they work.

So you get a situation where taking on some forms of short term or insecure work is simply too dangerous- you risk losing your place in the benefits system or falling foul of the ever more complex rules for making a claim.

Ironically the more the government succeed in creating a work environment where one can be fired on a whim- or where your working hours cannot be predicted from one week to the next- the more appealing a life on welfare becomes because at least it's predictable- at least you know what your income will be next week- unlike the zero hours contract hireling who may or may not get a phone call on monday.

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I have no particular sympathy for the civil servants but what has it got to do with them? This look like it was engineered to fail.

It was obviously over-reach by the conservatives and as you say rightly doomed to fail. There seems to be an 10 step plan all politicians follow, in which governments attempt to do way more than they can handle.

1)Assume the previous government was totally incompetent in everything, while yours is not.

2)On the basis of 1) all mega-projects they did were doomed to fail, while yours will succeed.

3)On the basis on 2) propose two dozen mega-projects in your first year in power.

4)Ignore all warnings because obviously your government is outstandingly competent.

5)Look busy.

6)Start to panic as everything (mega-projects) start to fail.

7)Deny everything

8)Gradually cancel mega-projects, bury all bad news during weekends, bank holidays and/or terrorist attacks.

9)General election - lose because of your abysmal track record.

10)New government. Go to 1)

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The trend toward ever more 'flexible' working is fundamentally incompatible with a vast bureaucratic edifice like the welfare system. So we have a basic contradiction between the notion that a 'hire and fire' zero hours, part time style work environment is the way to ensure maximum employment and the demand from the welfare drones that their 'clients' adhere to a tightly defined set of criteria as to how they work.

So you get a situation where taking on some forms of short term or insecure work is simply too dangerous- you risk losing your place in the benefits system or falling foul of the ever more complex rules for making a claim.

Ironically the more the government succeed in creating a work environment where one can be fired on a whim- or where your working hours cannot be predicted from one week to the next- the more appealing a life on welfare becomes because at least it's predictable- at least you know what your income will be next week- unlike the zero hours contract hireling who may or may not get a phone call on monday.

....that new formula will not be boding well for ever increasing house and price rises. ;)

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The Government needs more computers! Ii will not benefit from this! Directly! :blink:

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Perhaps they should have called it something trendy like iCredit to make it sound like it would work?

Even before it was tested it was viewed as a car crash, still wasting money on stupid ideas is what govts do best. Maybe at least 75% of our national debt is due to stupid ideas by those in power.

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i dont see what the problem is, this seems like a very good idea.

UC will combine:

income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Income Support

Child Tax Credits

Working Tax Credits

Housing Benefit

all into a single monthly payment.

it will make it easier to work out how much income the state will give you each month and will be more transparent about how much people actually get in benefits.

it will make it easier to identify the excesses in the system when you see the total totted up into a single figure.

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<snip> it will make it easier to work out how much income the state will give you each month and will be more transparent about how much people actually get in benefits. <snip>

Now, see, that's where the problem lies - working out how much income the state will give you each month.

Given the number of variables in eligible households' circumstances, it would take an enormously sophisticated computer system or an army of clerks to cope. I'm pretty sure the government has neither.

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Now, see, that's where the problem lies - working out how much income the state will give you each month.

Given the number of variables in eligible households' circumstances, it would take an enormously sophisticated computer system or an army of clerks to cope. I'm pretty sure the government has neither.

supposedly its all done on a single form online so surely even a basic computer system ought to able to manage that.

also simplifying the system is what makes it attractive. youre making a more complicated existing system, easier.

i would have thought claiming money from multiple departments on multiple circumstances is far more confusing to work out what youre eligible for, in case they overlap.

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i dont see what the problem is, this seems like a very good idea.

UC will combine:

income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Income Support

Child Tax Credits

Working Tax Credits

Housing Benefit

all into a single monthly payment.

it will make it easier to work out how much income the state will give you each month and will be more transparent about how much people actually get in benefits.

it will make it easier to identify the excesses in the system when you see the total totted up into a single figure.

indeed.

first step is to show tax payers, how much people claim

second step is to ask tax payers, if it is fair - what it is not, mainly in London or if you have plenty of kids

this is necessary otherwise BBC, Guardian and Labor will always reject any kind of benefits reduction ...

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  • 239 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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