By Tony Collins

The Department for Work and Pensions has told Campaign4Change that consultancy reports it commissioned on Universal Credit would, if disclosed under FOI, cause “inappropriate concern”.

Who’s to say the concern would be inappropriate?

At the weekend a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions told the BBC: “Liam Byrne (Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary) is quite simply wrong. Universal Credit is on track and on budget. To suggest anything else is incorrect.”

But the DWP has decided not to disclose reports by consultants IBM and McKinsey that could throw light on whether the department is telling the truth. Though the reports cost taxpayers nearly £400,000, the public has no right to see them.

The DWP told us: “Disclosure [under FOI] would … give the general public an unbalanced understanding of the [Universal Credit] Programme and potentially undermine policy outcomes, cause inappropriate concern (which in turn would…

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