Latest Public Sector News

22.11.13

Digital ‘training’ for UC claimants could costs councils millions

Benefit claimants will need significant training on digital and financial skills to use the new Universal Credit (UC) system, research indicates.

Three London councils were commissioned by the DWP to estimate how much investment this would require, using government data. Seen by the Guardian, the unpublished study shows each council would have to spend about £6m over a two-year period to support vulnerable claimants to get online.

Many claimants do not have internet at home, or even bank accounts, and are used to a weekly income. Local authorities are expected to ensure claimants can get basic explanatory advice and training, as well as guidance on financial management.

The research warned that those people who fail to get to grips to the new system could face debts, arrears and even eviction and homelessness. One in ten users of UC are likely to need “intensive or ongoing support”, the study suggested.

UC has been severely criticised in a number of reports for poor management and its slower than intended roll-out.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Image c. Rui Vieira and PA Wire

Comments

Val   30/11/2013 at 08:11

It is ridiculous that people are being forced to go on line, many do not own a computer and for many it is not for them, it would be like trying to teach me how to knit, it is probably simple but I would never be able to get my head round it. If the forms are like the Inland Revenue Forms then even the more skilled will struggle with the non user friendly format. What is the point of doing this online ? Is it to put people out of jobs or to keep a track (spy) on us or both. I can see the day where I can only buy a drink in the pub by bank card with the information being immediately passed on to the Police, inland Revenue ,and NHS. Big Brother is coming.

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