- Published: Saturday, 11 May 2013 16:57
- Written by Jonathan Walker
The benefits system is being thrown into chaos because local councils are expected to oversee radical changes without essential information from Whitehall, Midland authorities have warned.
Even Department for Work and Pension officials don’t understand how aspects of the new benefit system actually work, authorities said.
Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils issued the blunt warning in a joint statement to a Commons inquiry.
They said councils “have found it very difficult to obtain information regarding many of the reforms” – even though they are supposed to be carrying them out.
And the authorities warned they were struggling to meet the cost of overseeing changes to the benefit system, including installing new computer software and training staff, at the same time as coping with cuts to their own budgets.