Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith
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Universal credit 'is working', says Ian Duncan Smith

Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith has refuted claims by the National Audit Office that the government's flagship welfare reform plan has been badly managed and is "overambitious".

Six key means-tested benefits - jobseeker's allowance, employment support allowance, housing benefit, working tax credit, income support and child tax credit - are due to be combined into a single universal payment for all new claimants.

But the audit office report said the rollout of the new benefit had been hindered by IT glitches and an unfamiliar project management approach.

Mr Duncan Smith said the pilot scheme, which has begun with 1,000 people in the Manchester area, would be delivered "within budget and within the timescale".

  • 05 Sep 2013
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