DWP being investigated


The Work and Pensions Select Committee has launched a new inquiry examining the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP's) spending priorities and how it makes its spending decisions.

This inquiry comes just after the DWP were criticised for spending £200,000 on a newspaper advert promoting Universal Credit.

The Committee are inviting people to send in ideas and “model budgets” to suggest what the DWP's spending priorities should be – and what trade-offs it might have to make – for the next three years.

They will investigate how the DWP makes it spending decisions as well as considering how the DWP plans to achieve its own performance and customer service objectives. This will take into account caps and freezes.

How can you have your say?

The Committee is inviting evidence aimed at focussing on the spending choices that the DWP would have to make.

You can submit your answers about Department for Work and Pensions' spending online

The deadline is 19 July 2019.

What are the key questions being asked?

The Committee are happy to receive model budgets, a costed policy statement, a diagram of spending priorities, a written proposal, estimated costs and other forms of responses. However the key questions to answer are:

  1. What should DWP’s spending plans and priorities for the next three years be, and what trade-offs should it be willing to make in its spending plans? (As above, the Committee is particularly inviting submissions to this question in the form of a ‘model’ DWP budget – any of the answers to the rest of the questions below could be too!)

  2. What resources does DWP need to achieve its performance and customer service objectives?

  3. Some payments and deductions are not up-rated by inflation each year – or are subject to caps or freezes. How does this affect DWP spending decisions and intended outcomes?

  4. How well does DWP use evidence to inform its spending decisions? Does it have the evidence it needs to understand how to spend its budget most effectively?

  5. DWP can undertake analysis using its internal data and Departmental analysts. Is this capacity used in the most effective way to inform spending plans and decisions? How could this be improved?

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Committee said:

“The Government’s strategy for reducing the budget deficit has been paid for by cuts, cuts, and cuts again in benefits for the poor.

“We will be putting this centre stage in our review of the Government’s spending plans and we’ve asked experts of all kinds to set out a different kind of budget.

“Will the Government promise to consider implementing the model DWP budget we get back?”

Source: Parliament UK: Work and Pensions Select Committee