This is CPAG’s response to a DWP consultation gathering views on its proposal to end, or at the very least limit, the production of take-up estimates for six key means-tested benefits. DWP argues that producing the statistics is too expensive in the current climate. In addition, it assert that the figures will become increasingly redundant from October 2013 with the introduction of universal credit. In our response we disagree on both counts.
Repeating well-established procedures that generate the figures is unlikely to occupy as much staff time as the Department asserts. But even should this prove to be the case, take-up statistics are more, not less, important at a time when the social security system is being subject to such an extensive shake-up. Without take-up statistics, our ability to make key assessments about the effectiveness and efficiency of the new system will be seriously compromised.