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IDS denies benefit blame claims

The Work and Pensions Secretary has denied reports he tried to blame officials for the failures in the Government's flagship benefit reform scheme. A critical report by MPs claimed at least £140m had been wasted by the Universal Credit programme.

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DWP: Universal Credit will bring a £38bn benefit

Following criticism of the implementation of Universal Credit, a Department of Work and Pensions spokeswoman has said the scheme will "ultimately bring a £38bn economic benefit to society."

The Department of Work and Pensions say Universal Credit is a "vital reform". Credit: Press Association

She added: "This report doesn't take into account our new leadership team, or our progress on delivery. We have already taken comprehensive action including strengthening governance, supplier management and financial controls...

"We don't recognise the write-off figure quoted by the committee and expect this to be substantially less. The head of Universal Credit, Howard Shiplee, has been clear that there is real potential to use much of the existing IT. We will announce our plans for the next phase of UC delivery shortly."

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