Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Labour today warned that the Government's flagship Universal Credit programme risked descending into chaos, as an IFS report warned that changes to council tax benefit will 'severely undermine' Iain Duncan Smith's new system.

Stephen Timms MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, said:

"We've been warning for the last 18 months that Universal Credit was so badly thought through that chaos would ensue. Now, the IFS has revealed that the new benefit will be torpedoed by changes to Council Tax Benefit. One part of Government doesn't seem to know what the other part is doing.

"It looks like two parts of Government are simply at war with each other; and it’s poor old ratepayers who could pick up the tab, with higher bills or worse services. Thousands could find themselves suddenly better off on benefits than in work.

"With the Work Programme sinking, the benefits bill spiralling up by £9 billion and huge questions over Universal Credit, the Government’s welfare reforms are looking more chaotic by the minute."

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