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IDS: 'No major change' to delivery of Universal Credit

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has called the shadow work secretary's comments over Universal Credit "suitably pathetic".

Mr Duncan Smith said the project would be delivered on budget and on time, adding that there was "no major change" to the delivery programme.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

He said: "When I got concerned about the delivery schedule I made changes and I intervened.

"The reality is ... that we check these programmes while they are progressing and if there are changes that need to be made, we make them.

"In making those changes, I stand by the fact that the purpose here is to deliver the programme on time and in budget, something (Labour) never did in the whole of their time in government."

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IDS took the 'earliest action' over Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said problems highlighted in a report by the National Audit Office over the Government's flagship Universal Credit project were "historic" and he had intervened to sort them out.

Mr Duncan Smith told BBC Breakfast:

We took the earliest action, I brought in outside people. I lost faith in the ability of civil servants to be able to manage this programme, so brought in people from outside to ensure that this programme could be delivered within the scope of how it was planned and make sure that it was delivered within budget.

That is our belief today.

IDS: Universal credit will come in on budget and on time

The introduction of Universal Credit will not come in over budget, the Work and Pensions secretary told Daybreak, despite a report which exposes a botched £34 million IT programme.

Iain Duncan-Smith was "adamant" his flagship benefit reform, which replaces Jobseekers Allowance and Child Tax Credit among others, would come in within budget and on time.

He agreed with the criticisms published in the National Audit Office (NAO) report, but said they had been identified already within the department and dealt with.

Read more: '£34m wasted' on welfare reform

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Universal Credit could 'make or break' families

Implementing Universal Credit has the potential to make or break millions of families, the chief executive of Citizens Advice said today, after the National Audit Office revealed that had not achieved "value for money".

Citizens Advice says Universal Credit must be introduced slowly and correctly. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Gillian Guy added: "Even as Universal Credit is being rolled out, we still do not know what support will be put in place to help people to move on to the new system.

"The new benefit must be introduced slowly and correctly, not quickly and badly".

Ministers 'out of touch' on Universal Credit project

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne has called for cross party talks over the Government's flagship Universal Credit project after the National Audit Office claimed that it had written off more than £30 million in failed IT.

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IDS swore blind his Universal Credit was fine. Now we learn he has completely lost control of his dept at potential cost of 100s of millions

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Incredibly three years on, out of touch ministers still don't know how Universal Credit is even supposed to work.

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Now time for David Cameron and IDS swallow their pride and agree to the cross party talks we proposed in the summer. #UniversalCredit

Universal Credit report 'does not cover recent progress'

An assessment of the Government's flagship Universal Credit did not cover progress made since April this year, a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said today, after the National Audit Office claimed that it had written off more than £30 million in failed IT.

The report does not cover the significant developments we've made since April including the go-live in Greater Manchester, our progress on the IT challenge, the latest plans for expansion from October, or the fact that we brought in two of the country's leading project management experts to lead UC.

The NAO itself concludes that Universal Credit can go on to achieve considerable benefits for society.

– Spokesman, Department for Work and Pensions

Read the full report here

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