We and the previous Committee have reported several times in recent years on the Department for Work & Pensions implementation of Universal Credit, and on its efforts alongside HMRC to tackle fraud and error when paying benefits and tax credits. Our most recent report on Universal Credit was in February 2016 and our most recent report on fraud and error was in October 2015. We do not underestimate the challenges of implementing such an ambitious programme as Universal Credit and of getting to grips with the longstanding problem of fraud and error. However, in our view, the responses from both the Department for Work & Pensions and HMRC to the recommendations in the two reports were weak, and we were not convinced that either department was doing enough to address our concerns. We therefore recalled the two departments to discuss matters further.
3 November 2016