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'Bedroom tax' debts are 'only going to get worse'

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne has said that as the government's emergency fund runs out even more people will be pushed in to debt over the 'bedroom tax'.

Mr Byrne said: "It is very early days and that's why these figures are so shocking because the policy has only been in place five months one in three people are in debt.

"Now what's going to happen over the next few months is that the government's emergency fund is going run out, people's personal resources are going to run out and so this figure is only going to get worse."

Read more: 'Bedroom tax' arrears concerns

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Labour: Universal Credit a 'Titanic-sized IT disaster'

Labour's Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne has described the Universal Credit scheme as a "Titanic-sized IT disaster" and accused the Work Secretary Iain Duncan Smith of a cover up.

Mr Duncan Smith swore blind this benefit shake-up was fine.

Now we learn he has completely lost control of his department at a potential cost of hundreds of millions of pounds.

– Liam Byrne, Shadow work and pensions secretary

Liam Byrne will speak about this on Daybreak later this morning

'Biggest cost' to DWP will be extra job seekers

Key points from Mr Byrne's speech will include:

  • The biggest cost will come from extra job seeker allowance claims because of the slow take-up of the youth contract.
  • Current targets will be missed by 92 percent which will cost the Treasury by £457 million.
  • Implementing universal credit will cost £300 million, failures by Atos £287 million and work programme £140 million.
  • The bedroom tax will cost £102.5 million.
  • Rising fraud and error cost the Treasury £140 million.

Delivery costs could be cut, not benefits, say Labour

Liam Byrne is expected to propose Labour focus on the costs of "delivery problems", such as the cost of implementing universal credit, before they tackle benefits:

Labour will bring Social Security spending under control by tackling the long-term drivers of spending.

The first thing we are going to have to do is put out the fires currently spreading through Iain Duncan Smith's Department for Work and Pensions.

We need to tackle these delivery problems head-on before they eat up even more public money.

Because three years into this Government, their promised welfare revolution has collapsed because of a failure in basic delivery.

Labour: DWP causing 'chaos' with reforms

Money
DWP reforms cause "chaos" to the benefits system. Credit: PA

The taxpayer is facing bills of an extra £1.4 billion because of the "chaos" at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who are ushering in huge changes to the benefit system, Labour will say.

The low take-up rates for youth contracts, rising fraud, problems in the delivery of work capability assessments and the cost of implementing universal credit will all be criticised in a speech by Liam Byrne.

Shadow work and pensions secretary will claim bills for Iain Duncan-Smith's reforms will run into the next Parliament.

Mr Byrne will repeat Labour's call for a bankers' bonus tax to fund a jobs guarantee for young people.

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There is no coincidence in the 'no money' note release

A great deal of political capital was made of the note left at the Treasury, when Labour left office, which said there was "no money".

Now it has been shown in public for the first time to ITV News.

See the note here.

ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby reports on why it might suddenly have appeared now:

Read more: No coincidence the 'no money' note has been released

Liam Byrne says his 'no money' note was 'foolish'

Liam Byrne has admitted to ITV News West Country that his note to his successor David Laws that said "I'm afraid there is no money" was "foolish":

Of course it was a very foolish thing to do.

I left something else at the Treasury, which was a Budget I'd drawn up with Alistair Darling that would have halved our deficit over four years.

That was a good plan, it was a plan that would have worked and I'm afraid it was a much better plan that we've ended up with now.

– Former Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne
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