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Sneaking out an admission of yet more delays to his grandiose universal credit system comes as no surprise given Iain Duncan Smith's past record. Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 2.30pm: Defence questions (topicals at 3.15pm) Main business Intellectual Property Bill: Second reading Motion to approve SI relating to terrorism Motion relating to business of the House on December 10 Draf... Continue to article
Responding to the news that UKIP would cut the Basic State Pension, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘UKIP say one thing, but do another. ‘They talk about giving pensioners a ‘better deal’, but then they ... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith revealed that Universal Credit would not be ready to roll out to all welfare claimants by 2017. “Those who are already in, say, ESA, who have no work requirement on them because they are a very vulnerable group and ther... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith has rebuffed suggestions that Universal Credit is not on track and said his priority was to make sure it is delivered safely and securely. The Work and Pensions Secretary made the comments in response to a question by S... Continue to article
Frank Field said Labour would have to think about whether it would offer an "alternative" to Universal Credit. "We now know that half of those that use [Universal Credit] can’t use IT so the idea that most claimants will be able to go in... Continue to article
The Leader of the House has rebuffed calls for Iain Duncan Smith to make an urgent statement in relation to claims his department pressured the Public Accounts Committee over a report on Universal Credit. His opposite number Angela Eagle... Continue to article
Chris Byrant said Iain Duncan Smith was being "disreputable" if he tried to blame civil servants for problems at the DWP. "In the end I think it’s just a bit disreputable when politicians try to shirk off all the blame and put it all on ... Continue to article
Margaret Hodge said problem at the DWP were "from the top down", but that she hasn't been pressured. "I think from the top down, Everybody is responsible for the mess that we have seen in the administration and evolution of this programm... Continue to article
Chris Bryant said he was worried that problems with Universal Credit have not been resolved. "Iain Duncan Smith said only two weeks ago in Parliament - and it's something that he has repeated dozens and dozens of times as has the Prime M... Continue to article
Lord Heseltine described Sir John Major's suggestion of imposing a windfall tax on the 'Big Six' energy firms as uncharacteristically incautious, and said he was against the proposal. "I’m not in favour of increasing taxes anywhere, real... Continue to article
Foreign secretary William Hague meets with Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif in London (14.00) Home secretary Theresa May delivers a speech on organised crime at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies in London H... Continue to article
Over in the Press Gallery we hold monthly lunches with a guest speaker to do a turn at the end. We political journalists pay £65 for two (without wine, I should add) and invite an MP or a Peer or other VUC – Very Useful Contact – t... Continue to article
The Blunders of Our Governments By Anthony King and Ivor Crewe One World, £25 This book is a shocking indictment of both our political class and the political system. It should have been written years ago as a warning against the cock-u... Continue to article
Labour’s new work and pensions spokeswoman has told Iain Duncan Smith to “turn down the volume” on briefings against his permanent secretary. The Times reported this morning that Robert Devereux is in line to be strongly criticised by t... Continue to article
Francis Maude hailed the “incredibly uplifting” address. “It’s not just about clearing up the mess it's about building a better tomorrow, I thought it was an incredibly uplifting speech and very impressive and people are leaving with a s... Continue to article
Prime minister David Cameron makes an announcement on a seven-day GP access pilot scheme Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith is expected to make an announcement on two pilot schemes placing new requirements on jobseekers in ret... Continue to article
Hilary Benn MP, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, speaking to Labour Party Annual Conference 2013 in Brighton, said: I want to begin by thanking David Sparks and all our Labour councillors, includin... Continue to article
The welfare revolution David Cameron promised has failed: Universal Credit is in chaos, the Work Programme doesn’t work, the Youth Contract is even worse, they have let the Work Capability Assessment spin out of control, and the Bedroo... Continue to article
Quotes courtesy of Andrew Woodcock of the Press Association Nick Clegg said the new policy to give free school meals to all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 would be “good for all families”. “I’m announcing now that we are goi... Continue to article
Not for the first time since 2010, there’s a demonstration outside the Department for Work and Pensions. And not for the first time, Steve Webb and other ministers have to use the ‘tradesman’s entrance’ to get in and out of the bu... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith's promises on Universal Credit just shot to pieces by his boss at the Liaison Committee.
Universal Credit is in crisis. And Iain Duncan Smith has utterly lost control. Of that there is no doubt Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith insists that his new integrated tax and benefits system will be delivered 'ON TIME AND ON BUDGET'. Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith has called for a change to child poverty measures, insisting the UK must move away from the "narrow focus" of using only family income as an indicator.
Launching a government consultation at a children's centre in Deptford, the Work and Pensions Secretary outlined plans to broaden the indicators to include worklessness, education and family breakdown.
"It is widely understood that the current relative income measure by itself is not providing an accurate picture of child poverty," he said.
"Having such a narrow focus can drive perverse decisions, rather than asking whether a sustainable difference has been made to a family's life. This is about transforming their outcomes so they do not slip back below the 'poverty line'."
But Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, told The Independent that "the relative income poverty measure is the single best indicator of whether 'we're all in this together'".
Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Stephen Timms this morning said he had no problem with the Government looking at other indicators, but suggested ministers were seeking to distract people from a rise in child poverty because of Coalition policies.
"What they mustn’t do is try and obfuscate what is actually happening about poverty at the moment. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that child poverty is going to rise by 400,000 over the course of this Parliament," he told BBC News.
Number 10 has dismissed claims that the Government is considering means-testing universal benefits for pensioners such as the winter fuel payment.
Following reports in the Sun of a split between the Prime Minister and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith on whether to halt benefits for wealthy pensioners, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: "[The Prime Minister] stands by what's in the Coalition Agreement." She refused to speculate on whether there might be plans to cut the benefits after 2015 as part of the next Comprehensive Spending Review.
Mr Duncan Smith wants benefits such as winter fuel payments to be withheld from wealthier pensioners, but a source close to the minister told the paper the Prime Minister refuses to do so as it would break one of his election pledges.
The source said: “The PM is refusing all logic on this because he has boxed himself into a political corner and doesn’t have the courage to stand up to Labour’s attack."
Speaking this afternoon, Conservative MP Robert Halfon said the Government should "stop giving pension hand-outs to the rich”, arguing it was morally wrong that lower-earners subsidise well-off pensioners.
The Sun has thrown its support behind the Work and Pensions Secretary with a campaign named 'Ditch Handouts To The Rich', saying taxpayers' money is being wasted.
Iain Duncan Smith has said he is determined to press ahead with welfare reforms that would cut the number of disability benefit claimants by 500,000.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the Work and Pensions Secretary says the number of claimants has risen by 30% in recent years - "well ahead of any other gauge you might make about illness, sickness, disability”.
The news comes as the Government fairness watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, found that impact of spending cuts on women, disabled people and ethnic minorities had been vastly underestimated by ministers.
Millions of parents will receive letters from HMRC detailing how their child benefit is to be cut. Households where at least one person earns more than £50,000 will be affected by the cut.
Drug addicts and alcoholics will be denied benefits unless they enter treatment and rehabilitation programs, Iain Duncan-Smith will announce today. The Work and Pensions Secretary will tell an Alcoholics Anonymous event in Parliament that the changes will mark a shift from "passive" to "active" intervention.
The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said more than 11,000 households are being paid in benefits the equivalent of a higher rate taxpayers’ £47,000 salary. The figure was disclosed as letters are being sent to households this week explaining a new cap on benefits under which no one can claim more than the average annual working wage of £26,000. The cap comes into force next April.
05/12/2013 on BBC News
12/11/2013 on Labour party
07/11/2013 on Boulton & Co, Sky News
07/11/2013 on BBC News
07/11/2013 on BBC News
28/10/2013 on BBC News
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
17 minutes ago on The World This Weekend, BBC Radio 4
23 minutes ago on The World This Weekend, BBC Radio 4
25 minutes ago on The World This Weekend, BBC Radio 4