The Government will fork out more than £1.6bn over next three years to private contractors who decide whether people are well enough to work or not…
And now it is revealed that the Government is spending more assessing people than it saves in reductions to the benefits bill.
The National Audit Office reveals that the Department for Work and Pensions is handing over the £1.6bn to private contractors who carry out the controversial health and disability assessments.
And at the same time, the Government’s own financial watchdog has warned that savings in benefits payments are likely to be less than a billion pounds by 2020 as a result of the new tests.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britons-driven-to-food-banks-by-poverty-seen-as-collateral-damage-by-dwp-says-trussell-trust-a6794101.html The NAO report said that carrying out each test had risen from £115 to £190 and benefit claimants can wait for more than six months before they are assessed during which time they are not entitled to full payments. There is also a backlog of at least 280,000 new claims.
“The Department is paying more for assessments, but providers are still not meeting expected performance levels,” said Amyas Morse, head of the NAO.
As a result of the NAO report Iain Duncan Smith and senior Department for Work and Pensions officials are likely to be called to explain the failures to the Commons Public Accounts Committee.
Its chair, Meg Hillier, said disabled people and taxpayers in general had been “failed” by the department’s inability to manage the assessments.