back to article Ignore the GIGANTIC assets write-off, Universal Credit IT 'is working' – UK.gov

Hundreds of millions of pounds are understood to have been wasted on the government's Universal Credit programme - a huge IT project to cut and shut six benefits schemes into one payment system - but Whitehall insisted today that the tech was working. The minister for welfare reform Lord Freud claimed: Most people are claiming …

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Anonymous Coward

A friend of mine who works in the DWP, at the local level, one level back from the Job Centres (although he used to work there as well) says it's already a clusterfuck and will only get worse as time goes on.

Anon as I don't want to get my friend into trouble on the offchance that the government monitors everything people say on the Internet. Hi there, GCHQ.

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Flame

"6,000 new computers would be installed in dole offices across the country so that claimants can apply for jobs online."

Fine. Super. Terrific. Now how about arranging that there are some jobs available for them to apply for.

Genuine jobs, not the rubbish and fakes that turn up on those dole office lists.

The jobs that even if they existed wouldn't appear on those lists because the companies looking for workers aren't interested in the many thousands of applicants who only apply for a job for which they know very well they are not suited because they have to apply for a fixed number of jobs a week or lose benefit.

Real jobs that pay money, not forced unpaid workfare that lets companies avoid employing actual paid workers because they get the forced labour for free. The unpaid work that goes on much longer than the community work people would get as punishment for committing a crime.

How about actually doing something to help people rather than endless meaningless headline grabbing nonsense that does nothing about the problem?

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The number of people in jobs is increasing, very slowly, and most, but not all of the new jobs are real full time jobs.

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"Now how about arranging that there are some jobs available for them to apply for."

Governments used to do this. It was called socialism, and it came from the idea that if politicians had even tighter control of the economy, then it could only run better. As with most things they touch it worked out badly. Judge for yourself whether politicians ever have or ever will make "real" jobs, and how many of any jobs they do make would simply suck in migrant labour from the EU.

Looking at history, politicians best endeavours to deliver full employment have been when fighting really big wars, but as far as I can see there's not much enthusiasm for those old style proper wars.

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Re: The number of people in jobs is increasing

"The number of people in jobs is increasing, very slowly, and most, but not all of the new jobs are real full time jobs."

Evidence please

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"The number of people in jobs is increasing, very slowly, and most, but not all of the new jobs are real full time jobs."

Don't make the same mistake that news outlets make of conflating the reduction in the number of people claiming benefits with an increase in people in jobs. The government's figures are for 'out of work and claiming benefits', not for the number of people without jobs.

Given that the current lot has done a pretty good job of demonising the poor and cutting benefits wherever they can, the figures probably show how many have had their benefits cut, not how many have found jobs.

Note that this sort of fiddle is not unique to the current government. Blair's lot did a pretty good job of encouraging people to claim incapacity benefit rather than the dole to perform the same sleight-of-hand. The lie about 'unemployment figures' has been going on for some time.

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"How about actually doing something to help people rather than endless meaningless headline grabbing nonsense that does nothing about the problem?"

You aren't familiar with politicians are you? The only thing politicians do is spout meaningless, headline grabbing nonsense that does nothing about any problem. And, every four / five years we get the chance to change them for another bunch that will do exactly the same thing.

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"Governments used to do this. It was called socialism"

Fine, but if governments can't create jobs and capitalism won't then can people fortunate enough to be in employment please stop blaming those without jobs for there being no jobs and can somebody please tell Iain Duncan Smith to stop punishing them for capitalism's failing!

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Anonymous Coward

Exactly.

Given that the current lot has done a pretty good job of demonising the poor and cutting benefits wherever they can, the figures probably show how many have had their benefits cut, not how many have found jobs.

My wife is disabled, in pain most of the time, unable to function properly and is sometimes too ill to go to hospital to get treatment.

She has, naturally, been proven fit to work by A-Toss by a box-ticking retired GP who refused to examine her, look at her notes from her surgial teems (yes, plural) and subesequently had her benefits removed.

As an aside, I wrote to the Department in question complaining about this. I received, months later, a phtocopied letter from the Communications Team at the Ministry saying that they won't accept communications in this matter.

So, yes, it's all working to plan and because she's not disabled she can no longer get help from the Social Services and now I am a full time carer on lower income working when I can.

AC because I am discussing my wife's medical status. Please understand

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Anonymous Coward

Yup, we've had a similar problem too. We were slightly luckier in some ways as a later application succeeded.

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The number of people in work has risen by more than unemployment has fallen. The number of people in work is at a record high. The number of people who are unemployed nowhere near record lows, it is a little bit lower than at the worst point of the recession. There's two reasons for that. Firstly the working population has increased due to immigration, and secondly, people who were previously claiming disability benefits have been declared as fit for work by ATOS, so they are now classified as unemployed.

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Anonymous Coward

real full time jobs...

i.e. zero hour contracts! Progress! :(

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"The minister for welfare reform Lord Freud claimed:"

Am I the only cynic that read that as....

"The minister for welfare reform Lord Fraud claimed:"

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Joke

@ADJB

Would that be a Fraudian slip?

(yes, that is typed as-intended)

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Sounds like the kind of slip named after his Lordship's great grandfather

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"Is Duncan-Smith right?"

Simple answer: Never.

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Re: "Is Duncan-Smith right?"

Okay, down-voter, I challenge you to provide one single example of anything Mr Duncan-Smith has ever said or done that could be considered to be both morally and factually correct.

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Re: "Is Duncan-Smith right?"

When ever I hear IDS talking I always think of the nice but dim sketch of yonder years.

I feel he has meant well, but his lack of understanding of the reality of being poor and his general inability to organize anything meant that this was always going to be a disaster about to happen (and lets not even mention the bedroom tax).

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Re: "Is Duncan-Smith right?"

I agree, except for the bit about him meaning well.

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Re: "Is Duncan-Smith right?"

"anything Mr Duncan-Smith has ever said or done that could be considered to be both morally and factually correct."

Saying, "My name is Ian Duncan-Smith"? No, you're right. It's factually correct but it fails the 'morally correct' test.

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Re: "Is Duncan-Smith right?"

A quickie from Wiki:

Oh, his first name is 'George', the 'DS' bit is the family name.

"His claim that he studied at the University of Perugia (founded 1308) was later found to be false after an investigation by the BBC.[6] His office subsequently admitted that he attended the Italian Università per Stranieri (founded 1921) in Perugia for a year but he did not obtain any qualifications or finish his exams.[6] In 1975 he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was subsequently commissioned into the Scots Guards.[7] Duncan-Smith's biography, on the Conservative Party website, claimed he was "educated at Dunchurch College of Management" but following questioning by the BBC his office confirmed that he did not get any qualifications there either, stating that he completed six separate courses lasting a few days each, adding up to about a month in total."

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Happy

Re: "Is Duncan-Smith right?"

"Saying, "My name is Ian Duncan-Smith"? No, you're right. It's factually correct but it fails the 'morally correct' test."

That would be factually incorrect as well, as it's 'Iain'.

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The only positive from all this

Duncan-Smith will eventually be fired. However, Francis Maude may escape unscathed, which will be a pity as he is the real architect of the government's failed IT policies

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Mushroom

More government mental

I work with disadvantaged people in a local Learning Centre in rural Dorset. If you ever had to help someone with eye sight and mobility issues to navigate through the pages of the Government's Job Centre web site, you would soon wish to retire to somewhere electricity will never reach.

It is no fun and as a voluntary job it is certainly is lacking in any sense of the word "rewarding".

Recently, I could not assist a disabled person to send his CV to a prospective employer. The web site insisted he write a new CV using the web page. His CV written earlier in the job club )open one day per week) was not acceptable, there was no way to upload it to the system. He could make no progress until he had done this task. Press the write CV button, site asks him to first log-in. He was already logged in, but never mind, we'll do it again to humour them. Types password, one shakey finger at a time, peering, searching, scanning the large screen for info, confirmation that he hasn't made another typo, his eyes about six inches from the monitor. If he sat back, as Health & Safety advises, he could not make out the page contents, had considerable difficulty finding the insertion point and all this was compounded by his lack of command of the English language. After innumerable typos, finally presses Log-In button, site promptly returns him to previous page, asking him to create a CV.

He was with me for about two hours, fumbling about and being completely fucked over by this badly drawn software. He kept apologising for being unable to type faster, for making typos. He even thought that HE was doing something wrong and that's why he couldn't send his CV to the prospective employer.

Consequenlty, he went away quite depressed having failed in his Job Centre task to apply for x number of jobs this week - using their web site. I went away quite depressed too wondering if he would now lose entitlement to his Employment Support Allowance. I have a BSc in Information Systems, but I have never felt so utterly useless in the ten years since graduation.

We are a charity with many of our callers on the one day per week that our doors are open, being disabled, have learning difficulties, living without electricity on a traveller site, or are simply too old and have not needed to buy into this didgital nightmare...........until now. 7 million out out 70 million.

I hadn't been able to assit anyone else for two hours.

In my humble opinion, the gentleman would not have got the job even if there had been no-one else on the planet, because his poor vision alone would have made it impossible for him to work in such a dangerous environment as a kitchen.

What is this world coming too ?

Ministers and scientists must accept that some people will never be able to operate like a machine, even if they do have an iFad.............

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Re: More government mental

We're 'governed' by self-serving spivs, tossers, trust fund chavs, and other crazies.

These people aren't just a bit off, many of them seem to be morally defective. There's such a thing as moral stupidity, and it's far more of a handicap to basic human adult functioning than the (formerly) officially recognised kinds.

Unfortunately, the atrocity machines we call business and politics reward this defectiveness, instead of quarantining it as they should.

Good on you for still having a conscience and a desire to help. That immediately puts you ahead of the morally crippled losers in Westminster who are responsible for the suffering you're trying to do something about.

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Paris Hilton

Gigantic? Gigantic you say?

Have you seen yon thing yonder in Qatar?

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If you are a politician

If you are a politician you are not in any way in it 'for' the people.

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Unhappy

Another politician with (yet another) *simple* idea.

Apparently the only kind that they can understand?

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Alien

politicians stupid? uh uh baby

Look at the income, pension, hours and perks.

Politicos are intrepid self servers?

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