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The DWP has been accused of either “deliberately concealing information” about universal credit (UC) or being “simply incompetent” by Frank Field , chair of the parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee.

Field’s comments come ahead of the appearance on Wednesday by the work and pensions secretary, David Gauke, before the committee to answer questions about the accelerated rollout of universal credit which began this month.

Also on Wednesday, there is a Labour opposition day debate calling for the accelerated rollout to be paused.

Field is angry about the failure by the DWP to respond to no fewer than four letters to them asking for more information about the UC rollout.

In a written statement, Field fumed:

"For claimants not to receive money from Universal Credit is usually a disaster. For the Secretary of State not to answer letters shows either a huge discourtesy to Parliament or a sign that the Government knows the game is nearly up in trying to present this mega-reform as a success.

“I don't know if the DWP is deliberately concealing information about Universal Credit or is simply incompetent. Either way, it is not good enough. This has obvious echoes in the far greater failure of not paying hungry claimants on time.

“One letter simply asked if the conference announcement on advance payments was, despite appearances, simply a restatement of existing policy. You’d think they could at least answer that one.”

You can read the full statement here.

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