"Labour wheeled out Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne to pour scorn on IDS’s handling of the project and accuse him of wasting taxpayers’ money.
This would be the same Liam Byrne who, as Labour’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury, left a note informing incoming Coalition ministers that there was ‘no money left’. Ha, ha, ha.
The same Liam Byrne who, as Labour’s immigration minister, presided over a system which had no idea how many people were entering or leaving Britain, who they were or where they came from. Nor cared less.
The same Liam Byrne, indeed, who belonged to a government that encouraged more than six million people to languish on assorted ‘out of work’ benefits Labour has no grounds for smugness when it comes to IT projects. It blew £12 billion on an NHS computer system which never worked and had to be written off.
There have been other IT fiascos at the Home Office, the Passport Office and the Borders Agency. Former Labour Home Secretary John Reid remarked memorably that his entire department was ‘not fit for purpose’. .....Civil servants always adopt a ‘fortress mentality’ to cover up their mistakes, whether overspending on ill-considered IT projects or presiding over unnecessary deaths and ill-treatment of patients in NHS hospitals.
Nothing in the public sector ever comes in on budget, but no one involved appears to care. Taxpayers’ money is nobody’s money. The Civil Service doesn’t have to worry about anything so grubby as profit and loss."