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    A Labour MP has accused ministers of a “deliberate act of deception” over whether the Treasury has signed off the business case for universal credit, reports the BBC. Coins

    Chris Bryant has accused Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith of “beating around the bush” on the issue.

    Mr Duncan Smith has said the case will be signed off by the Treasury “very soon” and accused Mr Bryant of making the “most pompous, ludicrous statement that I have heard”, adding the real issue was “about Labour’s failure to come to terms with welfare reform”.

    Margaret Hodge, Labour MP and chairman of the influential Public Accounts Committee, said she supported the aims of Universal Credit, but she added: “Isn’t it time, and I plead with the Secretary of State that he should be open and honest with all of us rather than hiding behind smokes and mirrors to create a false impression that Universal Credit is on time, in budget and delivering in full its intended objective.”

    Mr Duncan Smith insisted the policy was “on track”.

    He told MPs: “The overall strategic business case that takes us right to the full lifetime of this programme is in discussion right now for that completion. But all of the elements that are relevant that is the strategic business plan for this Parliament, which includes all the roll out, all the investments which she [Mrs Hodge] will be aware of and the roll out through to the North West all of that has been approved, there will be no other further need for approvals this Parliament. It is rolling against the plan we set out last year, all those approvals are agreed and the final element of that which would logically come at the end of that process we hope will be agreed very shortly with the Chief Secretary.”

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    July 10, 2014 by Laura Matthews Categories: Universal Credit

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