Response to NAO progress report on Universal Credit

November 26, 2014

Commenting on today’s NAO progress report on Universal Credit, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“It is really disturbing that at this stage the NAO must ask for confirmation of the DWP’s plans for delivering Universal Credit in terms of its cost, timing and how it will work.

“While it is right to extend the timetable for roll-out rather than risk a rush job, what is worrying is that the concerns highlighted in today’s report are of the kind flagged up two years ago.

“The real question is whether Universal Credit will simplify benefit claims and make work pay and on this criteria the scheme is in real jeopardy. It has already lost much of its poverty-fighting potential through cuts and the promised simple claiming method seems not yet to have materialised. One in four UK children is currently in poverty and, in time, half our children will be supported by the benefit so there can be very little margin for error.

“The budget for Universal Credit must be protected against further cuts to its value and the DWP must swiftly produce clear goals against which its progress on this flagship benefit can be assessed.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.
  • CPAG is the host organisation for the Campaign to End Child Poverty coalition, which has members from across civil society including children’s charities, faith groups, unions and other civic sector organisation, united in their campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is met.

For further information please contact:

Jane Ahrends
CPAG Press and Campaigns Officer
Tel. 020 7812 5216 or 07816 909302

jahrends@cpag.org.uk
www.cpag.org.uk