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Public service reform must not only improve the experience and outcomes for service users, but also deliver efficiencies and save money, Chris Leslie will say today. In his first major speech as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasur... Continue to article
* Public service reform * Professional development * Civil service * Iain Duncan Smith * Benefits Jane Dudman theguardian.com © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All ri... Continue to article
Frank Field said Universal Credit was “morally wrong” and would not be implemented successfully, but warned that the reform raised a challenge for the Labour party too. “It’s morally wrong because we should try to get people to be able t... Continue to article
Department for Work and Pensions statement Iain Duncan Smith said: "Ed Miliband promised all his policies would be "fully-funded". But now we learn that one of his flagship policies is a short-term gimmick with sums that don't add up... Continue to article
MPs have accused Iain Duncan Smith of "sweeping under the carpet” the delays in the Government’s flagship welfare project. The Department of Work and Pensions published its annual accounts on 10 December – six months after they were due ... Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 2.30pm: Defence questions (topicals at 3.15pm) Main business Deregulation Bill: Second reading Motion relating to European documents on the relations between the European Commission and National Parliaments Adj... Continue to article
The Leader of the House has echoed Iain Duncan Smith's assessment of a Council of Europe report criticising key aspects of the welfare system, branding it "lunacy". The Council produced the document after monitoring British compliance wi... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith said he agreed with his colleague Nicky Morgan that the Tories needed to be more positive in their outlook. "Yes, absolutely and if you look at the speech in its entirety the point is this is about life change, our miss... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith statement on Chancellor's comments on national minimum wage "I welcome this bold move by the chancellor. It shows that at the heart of all our reforms this government is concerned to improve the quality of life for the poo... Continue to article
William Hague said the proposal by Tory MPs for national parliaments to veto EU legislation would make the European single market unworkable. "I’ve discussed that with my colleagues across Europe. They know that I feel strongly about get... Continue to article
Today’s reports of an astonishing 60,000 households with carers being hit by the Bedroom Tax are another damaging blow for David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith. Continue to article
Nicky Morgan argued the Government's proposals to restrict benefits for migrants newly arrived from the EU would be a deterrent, but declined to estimate how many would be deterred. “I think it will be in the sense that people will obvio... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith said the new restrictions on EU citizens' right to claim benefits were about "putting obstacles in the way" of people coming to the UK for factors other than work. "We’re trying to say to people ‘come here if you have ... Continue to article
Richard Bacon declined to endorse Iain Duncan Smith as the right person to be leading government reforms to the welfare system. “I think he’s going to stay there, if that’s what you’re asking - I don’t think there’s the slightest chance ... Continue to article
With just 18 days to go before the UK opens its doors to those Romanian and Buglarian migrants, Iain Duncan Smith’s new English language test is aimed at deterring ‘benefit tourism’. And with Brussels already locked in a dispute abo... Continue to article
The Work and Pensions Secretary has accused Labour of hypocrisy for attacking a £40m write-off of IT costs associated with the Government's flagship welfare reform. Responding to an Urgent Question on the Universal Credit scheme from his... Continue to article
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has denied his flagship welfare reform programme is a "debacle" despite admitting that more than £40 million spent on IT for the project had been written ... Continue to article
The Department for Work and Pensions is writing off £40.1m on the IT system to implement Universal Credit, Iain Duncan Smith has revealed. In an appearance before the Work and Pensions Select Committee ahead of the department’s annual a... Continue to article
Stephen Timms questioned why Iain Duncan Smith had so resolutely insisted that Universal Credit would be delivered on the Government’s original timescale, after the Work and Pensions Secretary finally admitted it would be delayed. “The g... Continue to article
All four current and former prime ministers will attend a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, Downing St has confirmed. Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron will be joined by Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband at the servi... Continue to article
Iain Duncan Smith insisted that the Universal Credit programme was on track for most benefit claimants. "Yeah, the plan that we put together, which we actually put out at the end of last week demonstrated really that in essence by the en... Continue to article
Labour press release Cameron's flagship policy, Universal Credit, lies in tatters along with his credibility Figures from the small print of OBR Autumn Statement show the government's flagship benefit reform, Universal Credit, has bee... 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.
19/02/2014 on Sky News
03/02/2014 on House of Commons
23/01/2014 on World at One, BBC Radio 4
20/01/2014 on Sky News
12/01/2014 on Murnaghan, Sky News
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
38 minutes ago on World at One, BBC Radio 4
1 hour ago on Daily Politics, BBC Two
5 hours ago on Sky News
1 hour ago