A statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts
In 2012-13, the Department for Work and Pensions had to write-off £40.1m for assets that were developed for the implementation of the Universal Credit system but which they will now never use. They now tell us they will also have to write-off another £91m of assets over the next five years.
Whilst these figures are truly shocking, I do not think we have heard the end of this matter and would not be surprised if further write-offs emerge over the coming period. It is deeply depressing that DWP has chosen to pour more money into the existing IT system in what seems like a short-term fix, rather than showing the confidence and foresight to come up with a solution that will truly stand the test of time.
Even for those people who transfer to the new benefit, the online system is currently not able to deal with issues like frequent changes of circumstances, claims if a couple splits up, or conditionality.