Latest Public Sector News


Universal credit to be launched online

Plans to claim the new universal credit online have been announced, integrating tax credits and out-of-work benefits through an app. This forms part of the move towards a ‘digital culture’, the Government says, but some are concerned about the prospects of another large centrally-run IT programme.

The programme is due to go live from April 2013, with plans to prepare real-time information on employers’ payrolls and wages from 2014 when claimants who are in work are due to join the scheme.

Universal Credit will integrate in-work tax credits and out-of work benefits, with the aim to provide a smooth transition to work. It will be possible to update claimants’ credit entitlement regularly without relying on their own reports. It should also help to reduce fraud and error by £1bn each year.

Lord Freud, minister for welfare reform, said: “This is the most radical redesign of the welfare system since its creation and we are taking an equally radical approach to the design and build of technology to deliver it. It is one thing to have policy, but delivery is equally important. The current welfare system is broken.”

Half of all claimants should be online by 2013-14, Freud said, and 80% will be using the online system by 2017. He acknowledged the issues with security, but is confident that close monitoring will ensure any disasters are avoided.

Freud continued: “We are getting a lot of help from the banking community. They have got security systems we are looking at very closely. The fundamental is to know who is on the system, and one of the things we are looking at is piggy-backing on those systems.

“So rather than us having to ID assure, one of the things we can do is get customers to click through their bank account to us.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

17/03/2020What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

Source: PSE Feb/March 20 Stephen Bahooshy, Senior Commissioning Manager and Nicky Selwyn, Carer and Service User Group Chair, Croydon Council.   Here it is... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >