Labour MP Chris Bryant has claimed that universal credit is on “life-support” with only 247 days left of guaranteed funding.
The shadow minister for welfare reform has taunts Iain Duncan Smith in the House of Commons after the Work and Pensions Secretary has repeated his claim that the ‘full business case’ for the new benefits system would be signed off “very shortly” reports 24dash.
Chris Bryant said: “The truth of the matter is that this programme-the Secretary of State’s pet project-is being kept on a life-support system, and all he can say is that the Treasury has guaranteed another 247 days of funding, with nothing beyond the end of this Parliament. He comes here again and says exactly what he said on 9 July, which was that this was going to be approved “very soon”. What has gone wrong? Did the chief secretary to the Treasury and the secretary of state take two months going on holiday, or are there real sticking points in the programme because, frankly, the sums do not add up?”
Iain Duncan Smith: replied “There are no sticking points, but these matters need to be agreed carefully. This test-first-and-then-implement process is the way all future programmes will be implemented. I just want to quote Mr Manzoni, the new chief executive of the Major Projects Authority, who made it clear to the Public Accounts Committee in June that universal credit is stable and on track with the reset plan, so whatever the hon. Gentleman wants to say, when this is signed off, I hope that he will come to the dispatch box and say that Labour members fully support it and they will get on with it.”
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