20% of Universal Credit decisions are incorrect and underpayments and if ever fully implemented UC will make 20 million incorrect underpayments every year.
The National Audit Office (NAO) scrutinises public spending for Parliament. The NAO helps Parliament hold government to account its website says and is the source of the 20 million incorrect underpayments each year which was contained in an open letter from its head, Sir Amyas Morse, to the DWP on 4 July 2018.
The letter – a full copy is appended – stated that 20% of UC decisions are incorrect and underpayments. The 20 million incorrect decision figure comes from the fact that UC will have 8.5 million claimants each having 12 UC decisions each year for a total of 102 million decisions giving 20.4 million wrong decisions each and every year.
The only recipients of Universal Credit are those not in work and those in work on low wages and these will form the 17 million UK citizens who have less than £100 in savings which is another NAO figure. UC recipients are people who exist or more correctly subsist from one pay date to the next and they will be the victims of these 20.4 million wrong and underpaid decisions each and every year.
Universal Credit is systemic UK poverty caused by government incompetence.
More than 5 years into operation and with dozens of ad hoc changes from its ‘test and learn’ approach – itself a government admission the policy is ill-conceived and unfit for purpose – and to date only applying to the least complex cases still sees a 20% failure rate shows how inept and unfit for purpose ideological whimsy of a policy it is.
Once UC begins to take the more complex cases there is a logically strong argument its current 20% decision failure rate will increase yet the policy is still largely seen as needing to be stopped and fixed and not abandoned which it not only should be but MUST be scrapped.
If systemically creating poverty and eviction and homelessness is not enough to persuade you that Universal Credit needs to go then how about asking the current government where they will get the extra £4.5 billion per year from to administer this dog with fleas policy?
Universal Credit in its development budgeted for the government cost of administering each claim to by £173 per year. However, the actual administration cost is £699 per case per year and more than four times more than anticipated. Rudimentary arithmetic reveals each one of the 8.5 million eventual UC claims will cost £526 more [£699 less £173] which is a yearly added cost to government administration of £4,471,000,000 – £4.471 billion more and where is this money coming from?
Universal Credit to cost £4.47 billion pa more and £22.36 billion more each parliament just in government administration cost!
And you thought George Osbornes £25 billion cuts to welfare was bad!
Instead of politicians and campaigners citing human interest stories about how the ineptitude of UC decisions affects individual cases, and the tendency to focus almost exclusively on the time delays and other factors of the initial UC claim process, it is way past time to focus on the bigger picture which reveals the Universal Credit policy to be one of incompetence, to being ill-conceived and to be a direct cause of systemic poverty – in short far and away the worst ever social policy ever contemplated.
Universal Credit must be abandoned – It must UC Off.
The full text of the Amyas Morse letter to the DWP of 4 July 2018 is below: