NAO report on Universal Credit

5 September 2013

The National Audit Office has today published a withering assessment of the early progress on Universal Credit. Read our statement

The report concludes (see figure 19):

'At this early stage of the Universal Credit programme the Department has not achieved value for money. The Department has delayed rolling out Universal Credit to claimants, has had weak control of the programme, and has been unable to assess the value of the systems it spent over £300 million to develop. These problems represent a significant setback to Universal Credit and raise wider concerns about the Department’s ability to deal with weak programme management,over-optimistic timescales, and a lack of openness about progress.'

CPAG's Head of Policy, Rights & Advocacy, Imran Hussain, responded:

'This report places Universal Credit on the ‘critical list’, cataloguing mistakes and failures that have dogged the project right from the start. The priority now has to be instilling confidence about when it will be delivered and, crucially for families, ensuring that when it’s up and running Universal Credit makes good on claims that it will make work pay and reduce poverty.'