Home Society DWP officials pocket £44 million in 'performance' bonuses despite universal credit debacle

DWP officials pocket £44 million in ‘performance’ bonuses despite universal credit debacle

Figures also show DWP ministers spent £35million defending cruel decisions to deny sick and disabled people vital benefits.

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Civil servants working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have been handed over £40 million in performance-related bonuses, despite serious problems with the rollout of universal credit and a startling increase in the number of successful disability benefit appeals.

Figures show DWP staff were awarded £44 million in “good performance” bonuses in the last year, while thousands of new universal credit claimants were forced to a wait a minimum six weeks for their first payment and left at risk of becoming homeless because of rent arrears.

According to the figures, 240 senior DWP officials pocketed a total £760,000 in bonuses, while a further 88,300 junior staff were each handed an extra £1,750 in their pay packets.

Philip Hammond MP. Photo credit: NATO Summit Wales 2014 via photopin (license)

A Cabinet Office spokesman defended the handouts, claiming bonuses are needed to “attract, retain and motivate highly-skilled individuals”.

Meanwhile, the data also reveals that DWP ministers spent a shocking £35 million of taxpayers cash defending cruel decisions to deny sick and disabled people Personal Independence Payments (PIP), despite seperate figures showing 72% of appeals taken to tribunal rule in favour of claimants – exposing chronic failures in the PIP assessment process.

Chancellor Philip Hammond (pictured above) was forced to reduce the mandatory wait for universal credit in his Autumn Budget, from six weeks to five weeks, and a two-week bridging system for housing benefit.

But critics and campaigners described the U-turn as “too little too late”. Labour criticised delays in implementing the changes.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “This will mean tens of thousands of families going without over the festive period”.

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, added: “Thousands of households are in (rent) arrears and need the changes to happen now.

“If the seven-day waiting period isn’t removed until February and the housing benefit run-on doesn’t kick in until April, more families will face desperate anxiety about money in the coming months and a miserable Christmas.”

Former Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith MP. Photo: YouTube

Universal credit has been beset with problems and delays since it was introduced by former DWP Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith MP.

The national roll-out of the full digital service was originally expected to be completed by December 2018, but this has been repeatedly pushed back and will now not be completed until 2022 at the earliest – unless there are further delays.

And technical problems with universal credit IT software has resulted in at least £40 million in costs having to be written off, but fixing the troubled system is likely to cost much more and the human cost has already been dire.

Of course, problems with universal credit and disability benefit assessments represent only a small part of a much wider problem with Britain’s increasingly harsh and demeaning welfare system.

Knowing that DWP officials have been awarded for what is, let’s face it, very poor performance, especially at a time when growing numbers of families are turning to food banks and poverty rates are on the rise, is likely to anger the very people our welfare system was (supposedly) designed to support.

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  1. They defend the bonus’s by saying that ‘talent’ will go elsewhere!!! Sorry but I don’t see this – its not like an investment bank where you need the killer instinct, what talent is so important that they need to protect them with bonus’s? please tell me!

  2. Didn’t I predict they’d ALL get swell bonuses for denying the ones who need the money the most? Hmmmmmmmmm? Yep I did…..

  3. The DWP who were paid bonuses should pay back every penny.
    And pay the claimers the money they are really owed.
    This is corruption.

  4. Privatising a former public service; walnuts for top civil servants and a few peanuts for plebs at the bottom. To appear ‘fair’. We must get a Labour Govt. to reverse it all. Soon. #JC4PM

  5. The UK is being disassembled for the convenient consumption by the Muslim horde

      • You are the one with your head up your arse…..start paying attention to this world or you too will be homeless and hungry very very soon.

    • Yes….the British people are being REPLACED as fast as the government can make it happen. There are how many Muslim Mayors in the UK? About 15 or so cities are not Muslim run…….the end for British people is coming very very soon…… it starts with the weak and infirm….and moves up the ladder accordingly….the middle class is next……

  6. To the 2% who voted yes to the performance bonus pay, if you think paying yourself huge amounts of money whilst others, children included, are made homeless over Christmas and going hungry too, is acceptable, you should bleeding well shot you selfish b.stards.

  7. I now see people looking so miserable so depressed. This is destroying families and I hope Labour does an impact assessment for British people claiming benefits.

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