Unversal Credit pilot “to start with just a few dozen claimants”


Nigel Keohane, deputy director of the Social Market Foundation, a cross-party thinktank, said the department appeared to have removed any difficult scenarios from the initial pilot. "In essence, they are testing the simplest group and only a very small number of them."

The shadow work and pensions secretary, Liam Byrne, said: "Universal credit is a good idea that builds on Labour's tax credits revolution that made sure work paid more than benefits for millions of people. But in three years it's gone from a flagship programme to a car crash. This pathfinder is a pathetic joke. This project is now late, over budget, the IT system is a mess and half the cabinet will tell anyone who will listen that the scheme is doomed. We must have a rescue plan – and fast."