Home Featured News Government Must Learn From Welfare Reform Mistakes, Say Auditors

Government Must Learn From Welfare Reform Mistakes, Say Auditors

Must Read

Benefit claimant with broken back killed himself after being found ‘fit for work’ by DWP

He was left pennniless and unable to pay the rent or top up his electricity meter.

UK pensioners ‘suffering the worst poverty rate in western Europe’

Tories warned against further rises to the state pension age.

Jeremy Corbyn: Tories failing homeless children and poverty-stricken families

Labour leader vows to end the benefit freeze and halt the rollout of Universal Credit.

Half of private landlords say tenants on Universal Credit have rent arrears

54% of private landlords have tenants on Universal Credit who have fallen behind on rent payments.

The Government must use the “hard lessons” it learnt from welfare reforms which caused “significant financial and human costs”, says the National Audit Office (NAO).

In a new report published today, the NAO criticised the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) “important and high profile failings” in implementing an unprecedented number of welfare reforms and employment programmes.

The report says the Government “relied too heavily on uncertain and insufficiently challenged operating assumptions, and did not have a sufficient understanding of its portfolio of programmes or overall capacity.”

It adds that the DWP has a “high-level vision but needs to think more strategically when considering how reforms will work in practice.”

“The Department has thought too late about the management information and the leading indicators it needs to understand progress and performance”, says the NAO. “This meant the Department took several weeks to identify backlogs in Personal Independence Payment claims.”

Auditors credited the Government for responding well “to uncertainty”, but added that it “should be able to set out plans with specific timetables, costs and impacts and reflect where flexibility is needed.”

“They should also have clear processes for revising plans against changing circumstances or expectations”, says the NAO.

The NAO criticised the DWP’s initial handling of the Universal Credit. The NAO says the department “held too rigidly to fixed deadlines and now has adopted a more flexible approach. It will need to reconcile this approach with the requirement to monitor progress against milestones.”

In implementing a significant welfare reform programme, the DWP “relied too heavily on reacting to problems and has not been able to anticipate possible failings or establish the principal ways in which performance and progress can be measured”.

The NAO called on the Government to “plan more openly for the possibility of failure, and build an integrated view of portfolio risks and capacity”.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: “Any large portfolio of reforms will run into problems. The Department has shown a resolute approach to dealing with them. However, we think it has relied too much on dealing with difficulties as they emerge rather than anticipating what might go wrong.

“As a result it has had to learn some hard lessons with significant financial and human costs. It is important that the Department use these hard lessons to improve how it manages change and anticipates risk.”

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: The Government must learn from the mistakes of previous changes to welfare.

Citizens Advice has found that delays and problems with the delivery of reforms such as Employment and Support Allowance increased hardship and anxiety for many people.  Last year we helped people with almost two million benefit issues, more than any other type of problem.

“As Ministers look to make further savings from the welfare budget it is important they fully understand the impact proposed reforms have on people’s lives.

The Government must be certain that further cuts won’t just shift costs away from the welfare budget and into other areas such as health and social care.

” Changes to benefits can have a far-ranging impact on people’s lives, so any reforms need to delivered at a safe and steady pace.”

SUPPORT US!

If you would like to see more stories like this please consider a one off donation. Thank you for your support!

8 COMMENTS

  1. Very bad
    The Government couldn’t give a toss about People
    And they are liars
    Making out they care about everybody
    Well let me tell you
    They don’t and never will
    Their attitude is
    Buisiness as usual and bugger everybody else !!!!!!!!!

  2. They [the Tories] really DO have a clue. That is the point. They have set out to hurt, starve, make homeless and kill as many of their own people as possible. You think for one minute that they are going to take notice of this report? Think again. It is business as usual to see how many more thousands of innocent British people they can kill off.

  3. The only way this government will learn is to line them up outside parliament in front of a firing squad

  4. “The report says the Government “relied too heavily on uncertain and insufficiently challenged operating assumptions, and did not have a sufficient understanding of its portfolio of programmes or overall capacity.”

    In other words, “they haven’t got a f**king clue what they’re doing”.

  5. And they think IDS will listen. He hasn’t for the last 5 years and as a psychopath he can’t conceive that he is not right.

  6. Is anyone likely to listen? Given that the courts and the UN have been ignored, will another report make any difference? Surely the negative impact on people’s lives is what’s being aimed at? Weren’t similar tactics used to force people off the land and into factories during the industrial revolution? Deprivation and starvation forcing whole families to work for subsistence level incomes? How long before we return to child-labour? It’s already happening across the developing countries. The Bangladeshi garment factory fire claimed the lives of girls as young as nine. Surely if were to “compete in the global market”, we should be preparing ourselves for “flexible working” and that would include all family members, whatever their capabilities! Welfare support only encourages indolence and idleness, doesn’t it?!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FOLLOW US

16,639FansLike
9,361FollowersFollow

Latest News

Jeremy Corbyn: Tories failing homeless children and poverty-stricken families

Labour leader vows to end the benefit freeze and halt the rollout of Universal Credit.

Half of private landlords say tenants on Universal Credit have rent arrears

54% of private landlords have tenants on Universal Credit who have fallen behind on rent payments.

130,000 families forced to live in one bed flats due to chronic social housing shortage

Calls for a £12.8bn national investment in social housing building.

Paralympian supports disability charity at ‘Superhero Triathlon’

Participants came from across the United Kingdom.

Homeless children forced to live in shipping containers, report says

Children's Commissioner slams the "unforgiving welfare system" and high rents for trapping homeless families in temporary accommodation.

More Articles Like This