Careless government departments have created a £5billion black hole in taxpayers money, figures have revealed.
It was squandered on a number of gaffes, according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
The Ministry of Defence was the biggest offender with £3bn losses. Its blunders include blowing £4million on Sea King helicopters that are no longer used and £7million on scrapped upgrades to armoured vehicles.
Elsewhere, education bosses lost £1.2m because a school payment went into the wrong bank account. And a cancelled Department of Work and Pensions online benefits programme cost £27million.
The figures, revealed in Whitehall accounts, will embarrass the government. Jonathan Isaby from the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “Many of these losses are simply ludicrous. ”
“Iain Duncan Smith pontificates about the money he’s allegedly saving with welfare reform, he should be put in charge of stopping these unaccountable losses.”
Nigel Nelson Political Editor of the Sunday People reports that at least 200.000 people will be worse off under the Universal Credit system according to Labour.
They are challenging Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s claims that there will be more gaining than losing under the new set-up.
Ministers in 2012 said winners will number 3.1million, and 2.8million losing. Now they admit to “three million” losers.
And despite promises one million would be claiming UC last April, only 27,000 are, figures show.
Estimates of £2.2billion fraud and error savings are now put at £600,000.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves said: “Iain Duncan Smith promised more winners than losers. He has to come clean about how many will lose if it’s ever successfully “rolled out”.”
UC merges six working-age benefits into one to try to make welfare simpler.
The DWP said of it: “More people will gain. Three million will be better off by £2,000 a year.”
“People who aren’t dependent on the welfare system will have a jolt into a different world when and if they do. It’s played for political gain with the only winners being those who are protected from being a pawn in the corrupt game. People don’t matter anymore.”