Problems seem to appear from the off-set
- 2010/11– Work on universal credit begins with plans for the roll-out to be completed by 2017, which some suggested was ambitious.
- 2012– The Local Government Association said that there was a real risk the IT system would not be ready in time. There was also concern expressed by The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee over the adequacy of the IT system’s of the Government and local authorities, despite a DWP spokesman saying “it is quite simply wrong. Universal Credit is on track and on budget. To suggest anything else is incorrect.”
- Late 2012– DWP forced to admit cracks were starting to show and restructured the programme.
- February 2013– Serious concerns expressed about the department not having a detailed blueprint or transition plans.
- January 2014– DWP to spend a further £90m on IT system.
- March 2015– An undercover reporter for Dispatches (Channel 4) who posed as a DWP trainee at a Universal Credit contact center said that he was told to not tell claimants about cash funds for hardship payments.
- July 2015– DWP staff stage a walk out over ‘disastrous’ Universal Credit roll-out.
- February 2016– Independent analysis finds low income families will be hit the hardest by the £2.7b welfare cut.
- July 2016– Universal Credit falls five years behind schedule.
- October 2017– A number of claimants come forward saying they are now in rent arrears due to waiting times for initial payment.
- November 2017– Universal credit helpline changed to a free 0800 number after previously charging 55p per minute.
More on Universal Credit
- Fear of Universal Credit revealed by southerners at National Day of Action
- Corbyn and May imitators squabble over Universal Credit in central Southampton