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Government retreat blamed for Hips delays

Poor preparation and a failure of nerve by ministers are to blame for the "long and torturous" introduction of controversial home information packs (Hips), an influential group of MPs will say today.

Its report points out that officials at the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) described the packs as a priority for 2007. But only weeks later the then secretary of state Ruth Kelly watered down the packs. They were introduced in August, two months later than planned, and only for homes with four or more bedrooms. The packs were extended to all homes last month.