DWP committed to doing all to reduce fraud & error in Universal Credit

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has said that the government's Universal Credit benefit scheme is running successfully, adding that it is absolutely committed to take every possible step to reduce the level of fraud and error in the benefit system.

A spokesperson for the DWP described Universal Credit as a "modern, simpler & easier-to-administer" benefit, and said that the department was working closely with local authorities to ensure the scheme's continued safe & secure rollout.

Speaking on the topic, the spokesperson said, "This modern, simpler and easier-to-administer benefit is running successfully . We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to reduce the level of fraud and error in the benefit system, which has fallen since 2010."

The department's comments come as an influencing group of MPs have warned that government efforts to reduce fraud through the Universal Credit could be seriously undermined by various issues with housing benefits.

The Work & Pensions Committee also cautioned that that various gaps in the system could lead to rise in the number of self-employed people making efforts for 'cash in hand'.

While the government has been claiming that an IT system, the Integrated Risk & Intelligence Service (IRIS), will enable it to cross-check data to cut fraud in the housing costs constituent of the benefit. But, an examination by the National Audit Office found that IRIS was absent from pilot schemes.

The Universal Credit benefit is currently running in 10 pilot areas across the UK. The rollout is expected to complete by 2017.