Employees working on the government’s Universal Credit (UC) benefit reform have revealed they consider the programme to be an “unmitigated failure” due to problems with technology underpinning it.
In a study conducted by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), 90% of UC workers said the IT was less than adequate, despite costing hundreds of millions of pounds.
This is in comparison with just 0.9% of people surveyed who claimed the IT to be “more than adequate.”
UC staff also claimed that inadequate working conditions, poor staging levels and a lack of real training also contributed to the downfall of the scheme.
“No one can trust Iain Duncan Smith to tell the truth about UC so it falls to the staff to expose this wasteful and politically motivated shambles for what it is,” claimed PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.
Many of those who participated in the research have worked in the Civil Service for more than 20 years and respondents make up around half of the employees in the UK’s four UC centres.
However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) claims that PCS has not accurately represented its employees working on the scheme.
“The PCS survey comprises of only 13% of our 2700 staff working on UC. They chose to ignore staff in our Jobcentres when conducting this research providing a skewed unrepresentative sample of union members,” it said in a statement.
Controversy surrounding the technology underpinning is nothing new as project has been plagued with problems from the start.
Many organisations, such as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the National Audit Office (NAO), have warned against the rising costs the project is incurring.