Iain Duncan Smith has finally admitted that the use of food banks is linked to delays in his own department paying benefits — having previously attacked a charity for “scaremongering” when they suggested precisely that. In amongst the usual IDS lies and bluster, Sunday Politics’ longest ever interview contained this concession to Andrew Neil: AN: So you don’t agree with […]

A former confidant of Iain Duncan Smith has dramatically turned on him over Universal Credit, making claims in a radio interview that completely undermine not only press briefings on the botched project — but statements by the cabinet minister to parliament. Stephen Brien is credited as being the ‘architect’ of Universal Credit. Having developed the policy while working at […]

More on the “success” that is Iain Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit: Last year social landlords were warning that replacing housing benefit (with payments to them) with Universal Credit (and direct payments to tenants) would prove a nightmare for those that had difficulty managing their money — and could possibly lead to evictions. And so it has […]

Suffice it to say that DWP are cock-a-hoop with the latest employment stats — turning the @dwppressoffice Twitter into a blizzard of pre-prepared infographics. But there was another set of figures released today which they seem less keen on highlighting: Universal Credit. To August 2014 they’ve had 13,260 starters on the new benefit — a mere 986,740 behind their […]

Labour’s urgent question on Tory ministers’ grossly misleading Universal Credit claims set the scene for fiery Commons exchanges — with Speaker Bercow reprimanding shadow minister Chris Bryant (1:57 above) for effectively calling the DWP team liars: “There has been so much beating about the bush that it is beginning to feel that this house has been misled […]

Universal Credit is really on the ropes now — with the Public Accounts Committee forcing mandarins to admit that the Treasury hasn’t actually signed off on the project: “We shouldn’t beat about the bush: it hasn’t been signed off. What we’ve had is a set of conditional reassurances about progress and the Treasury have released money […]

As regular readers will recall, Iain Duncan Smith and the DWP have been throwing money at increasingly desperate legal bids to keep a number of documents related to the Universal Credit programme under wraps — and they’ve just lost. Again. With IDS’ critics claiming that he may have misled parliament on the progress (or utter lack […]