The chair of the commons public accounts committee claims that the planned new benefit universal credit (UC) is “​a train crash waiting to happen”​ because of the probability of lengthy delays in the computer systems needed to make it work.

Universal credit is due to replace a number of benefits, including employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit and working tax credit in 2014. In order to introduce UC, the computer systems of the DWP and HMRC have to be made to work together and produce ‘​real-time’​ information about people’​s earnings.

However, there are now increasing doubts about whether the new system can be introduced on budget, on time, or even at all, because of the problems that HMRC are experiencing in meeting the deadline. The project is now top of the list of the treasury’​s ‘​risk register’​ of projects likely to fail according to a story in the Daily Telegraph.


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