Later today I will be in the Chamber for a debate called by Labour on “Performance of the Department for Work and Pensions”. Here is the text of our motion, which we will be voting on at 10pm. It’s worth noting that usually the Government would table its own amendment in response to an Opposition motion, usually along the lines of ‘delete everything after “this House” and add glowing praise of the Government’s performance to date. They don’t appear to have done so today, so one can only conclude they agree with Labour on this occasion…
OPPOSITION DAY (3RD ALLOTTED DAY)
Until 10.00pm (Standing Order No. 9(3))
Performance of the Department for Work and Pensions
Ms Harriet Harman
Ms Rosie Winterton
That this House notes that after £612 million being spent, including £131 million written off or written down, the introduction of Universal Credit is now years behind schedule, with no clear plan for how, when, or whether full implementation will be achievable or represent value for money; further notes the admission of the Minister of State for Disabled People in oral evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee on 11 June 2014 that over 700,000 people are still waiting for a Work Capability Assessment, and the report of the Office for Budget Responsibility in March 2014 that found that projected spending on Employment and Support Allowance has risen by £800 million since December; recognises the finding of the Committee of Public Accounts in its First Report, HC 280, that Personal Independence Payment delays have created uncertainty, stress and financial costs for disabled people and additional budgetary pressures for Government; further recognises that the Work Programme has failed to meet its targets, the unfair bedroom tax risks costing more than it saves, and other DWP programmes are performing poorly or in disarray; and calls on the Government to publish (a) the risk register and other documentation relating to the delivery of Universal Credit as a Freedom of Information tribunal has ruled it should, (b) the time in which it will guarantee that disabled people will receive an assessment for PIP and (c) a full risk assessment showing the potential impact of delays, delivery problems, contract failures and underperformance on (i) people receiving or entitled to benefits, (ii) departmental budgets and spending plans and (iii) the Government’s welfare cap.