Civil servants pocket bonuses of up to £20,000 and pay rises for creating bungling benefits system hurting thousands

Five highly-paid civil servants have had bonuses of up to £20,000 – and even pay rises – for devising a new benefit system causing hardship and misery for thousands.

Many people claiming the new Universal Credit have had no money for up to six weeks because of computer issues and slow helplines in trial areas.

A national roll-out of the benefit – meant to replace Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Child and Working Tax Credit, and some ­disability benefits – is behind schedule.

But bosses at the Department for Work and Pensions got bonuses for “top performance” and “leadership” – sparking fury from Labour MPs.

Neil Couling got a bonus of up to £20,000 last year

Andrew Rhodes had a bonus of between £10,000 and £15,000 this year

Permanent secretary Sir Robert Devereux last year got up to £20,000 on top of his £185,000 salary. This year there was no bonus but his pay hit £190,000.

Neil Couling, director general of Universal Credit, got a bonus of up to £20,000 last year and a £125,000 salary.

This year instead of a bonus his salary leapt to £145,000 a year.

Jeremy Moore, strategy director, had a £20,000 bonus two years running – taking his total pay to £155,000 a year.

Mayank Prakash, director general of digital technology, got up to £20,000 this year on top of his £200,000 salary – so he earned more than his boss Sir Robert.

And Andrew Rhodes, operations director, had a bonus of between £10,000 and £15,000 this year, taking his pay to £155,000 a year.

Mayank Prakash got up to £20,000 this year on top of his £200,000 salary

Jeremy Moore had a £20,000 bonus two years running

He also claimed £37,600 in travel expenses.

Now 31 Labour MPs say the roll out of Universal Credit – dreamed up by former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith – should be halted.

Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, said: “These bonuses are a reward for failure…

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