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Parliament's Work and Pensions Committee said the scheme to get disabled people back into work was causing "considerable distress and anxiety". Continue to article
Thanks to a couple of technical problems, some subscribers haven't received this morning's Waugh Room Memo. Here it is in full: Paul Waugh is away. Today’s memo is written by Josh May. A huge day looms as David Cameron fina... Continue to article
Rachel Reeves called for the National Audit Office to assess the viability of Universal Credit following claims that the business case has not yet been approved by the Treasury. “For months Iain Duncan Smith has been saying that Univer... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith has said he expects the Treasury to sign off the business case for the Universal Credit scheme “very shortly”. Sir Bob Kerslake, the head of the Civil Service, told a committee of MPs on Monday that the plans had not be... Continue to article
Prime minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg unveil new emergency police powers to protecting their right to access phone and email data Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg (12.30), work and pensions secretary Iain Dunc... Continue to article
Labour has blasted the Business Secretary for failing to take action to mitigate the impact of Universal Credit on self-employed workers. At Business Questions this morning, Chuka Umunna accused his government counterpart of failing to ... Continue to article
The full roll-out of Universal Credit is due to be completed by 2017, Iain Duncan Smith has said. The Work and Pensions Secretary told MPs that 11,000 people are receiving benefits through the scheme and the Government has started the ro... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith accused European leaders of complacency in their backing of Jean-Claude Juncker and said electing him as European Commission president would be the equivalent of "flicking two fingers" at voters across the continent. "... Continue to article
The Government was right to intervene in the so-called 'Trojan Horse' schools scandal, Iain Duncan Smith has said. The Work and Pensions Secretary made the comments during Question Time when asked by a member of the audience if he believ... Continue to article
Conservative party press release In a speech today at the ConservativeHome Conference, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said: Paul – thank you for inviting me to speak to this Conference today. From its earliest days, ConHome ... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith said he recognised the "big concerns" that many voters had about the Government's record but said they would soon to feel the benefits of a growing economy. "We’ve just come out of the worst recession for over 100 year... 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.
11/07/2014 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
23/06/2014 on House of Commons
22/06/2014 on Pienaar's Politics, BBC Radio 5 Live
24/05/2014 on Conservative party
23/05/2014 on Sky News
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