Norman Smith
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Universal credit rollout 'huge task' for Duncan Smith

Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith has refuted claims by the National Audit Office that the government's flagship welfare reform plan has been badly managed and is "overambitious".

Six key means-tested benefits - jobseeker's allowance, employment support allowance, housing benefit, working tax credit, income support and child tax credit - are due to be combined into a single universal payment for all new claimants.

Mr Duncan Smith said the pilot scheme, which has begun with 1,000 people in the Manchester area, would be delivered "within budget and within the timescale".

The BBC's Norman Smith said that gave the Secretary of State "three years to get 8 million people on to universal credit".

  • 05 Sep 2013
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