Iain Duncan Smith has been accused of a cover-up after denying cash has been lost in his struggle to introduce Universal Credit.
The Work and Pensions Secretary told MPs “no money has been wasted” as he rolls most working age benefits into one.
But Labour said: “This is a lie to cover up the failures of the Universal Credit programme.” And they insist that to avoid misleading Parliament Mr Duncan Smith must issue a correction.
Last year’s Department of Work and Pensions annual report said £40million has had to be written off.
And it predicted another£91million is set to be poured down the drain.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves said: “He has serious questions to answer over the millions of pounds of taxpayers money that has been wasted. It’s time for ministers to give straight answers and to finally get a grip of this failing project.”
A DWP spokesman said last night: “Universal Credit is already making work pay in one in ten job centres and will be rolled out nationally from next year.
“When fully in place the economy will benefit by £7billion each year.”
If and when this welfare reform is “fully in place” what will be the true cost and true price?.”
Nelson N. Sunday People 9th November 2014. p. 20
Latest employment figures – Office for National Statistics (ONS) – No mention regarding disability.
Unemployment fell by 468,000 over the year bringing the unemployment rate to a new six-year low of 6.2 per cent. The employment rate, at 73 per cent, is also back up to the pre-recession level with 30.61 million people in work.
Youth unemployment is also continuing in the right direction with the largest annual fall since records began in 1984 – falling by 213,000 on the year. There are now fewer young people claiming the main unemployment benefit, Jobseekers’ Allowance, than just before the recession. Youth unemployment has dropped by 133,200 in the past year and for 33 months in a row.
The figures also show that private sector jobs are continuing to grow and have increased by almost 800,000 in the last year alone. There are now over 2.16 million more people in private sector jobs than there were in 2010.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said:
“Creating jobs is central to building a stronger, more resilient and stable economy. With millions more people in private sector employment under this Government, it is clear that our long-term economic plan is helping Britain to recover following one of the deepest recessions in living memory.
“All of our reforms are focused on helping people off benefits and into work – giving people the peace of mind and security that comes with a steady income. We are helping people to break free from welfare dependency, look after themselves and their families, and play their part in getting our country back to work.”
Schemes like the Government’s Work Programme have contributed to the largest drop in long-term unemployment since 1998 – falling by 175,000 on the year.
A regional breakdown for your area is available at:
And more details on the jobs figures can be found on the ONS site