The DWP have so far succeeded in getting just 5,610 claimants onto universal credit (UC), official figures released today show. This means they would have to transfer more claimants to UC every single day than they have managed in the whole of the last year in order to meet their target of 7 million UC claimants by April 2017.
The figures show that 6,550 people have made a claim for UC since it started in April 2013. But by March of this year there were still only 5,610 claims in existence. The vast majority are unemployed young people aged under 25 and most are also male. All the harder to calculate groups, such as people in work, have yet to be even piloted under UC.
In fact, there should by now be over a million people receiving universal credit, according to Iain Duncan Smith’s original timetable, meaning that he still has not managed even 1% of the target he set for the new benefit for April 2014.
There is now no possibility whatsoever of UC being in place by April 2017 and, privately, even the DWP appear to believe that there is nothing left of the project except dragging its death throes out to save face until after the 2015 election.