Iain Duncan Smith's welfare reform plan is costing £225,000 per person to implement, according to new figures, which prompted the Labour party to accuse the government of wasting money on a "staggering" scale.
In the latest blow to the universal credit scheme, which has fallen behind schedule and will not be fully implemented until halfway through the next parliament, the figures show that £612m has been spent on introducing the new system since 2010.
Just 2,720 people claimed universal credit in October 2013, giving the figure of £225,000 per claimant. The department is way behind its original target of ensuring that 1m claimants would be moved to universal credit by April this year. If 1m were claiming universal credit the start up costs would be £612 per person.
Duncan Smith was forced to admit last year that he would miss his original deadline of placing all existing and new benefit claimants on universal credit by 2017. It is being introduced in stages and is now "live" in seven areas. It will be introduced in Bath and Harrogate this month and in Shotton later this spring.
Read the full story in the Guardian
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