Quarkside

14/11/2012

IDS gets IDs; but has he lost the plot?

Filed under: Local Government,People,Policy,Politics — lenand @ 1:40 pm
Tags: , , ,

Computer Weekly has a searching blog about the state of the Universal Credit Programme.  The risk is that too many people are concentrating on the technology, such as the recent announcement of the suppliers selected for the ID Assurance programme.

What few people have talked about, are the horrors expected when UC goes operational.  The reduction in benefits is going to cause distress in many households that are already at breaking point. The Local CIO Council discussed this last week and here are some of the issues raised – none of which have Technology solutions:

  • Thousands of properties are “underoccupied”, benefits will be reduced, families will have to downsize.
  • Digital By Design is inappropriate for many people that are socially and digitally excluded. They will need costly, face to face, mediated access.
  • Some large councils are expecting to lose £100m.
  • More homelessness is expected by Councils and the Voluntary Sector.
  • Domestic violence and suicides are expected to increase.
  • Schools will see more hungry children.
  • Child abuse is expected to rise – remember that every child taken into care will cost a local authority £250,000.
  • Some currently exempt people will have to start paying council tax, which are often small amounts that are too costly to collect
  • Releasing Section 106 obligations will compound homelessness problems.
  • B&B costs and will increase, as will relocation into different boroughs

As one respected member said “IDS has lost his sense of reality”.  He may get his IDs, but at what cost to Councils and their poorer citizens?

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