Iain Duncan Smith’s universal credit scheme has been so badly managed it is about to to write-off up to £425 million, according to a devastating Commons report.
In a humiliating moment for the work and pensions secretary, the public accounts committee criticised almost every aspect of the project, from its management to the limitations of the pilot scheme.
“Its implementation has been extraordinarily poor,” chair Margaret Hodge said.
“The failure to develop a comprehensive plan has led to extensive delay and the waste of a yet to be determined amount of public money.
“£425 million has been spent so far on the programme. It is likely that much of this, including at least £140 million worth of IT assets, will now have to be written off.
“The management of the programme has been alarmingly weak. From the outset, the department has failed to grasp the nature and enormity of the task, failed to monitor and challenge progress regularly and, when problems arose, failed to intervene promptly.”