The government has revealed that internal wranglings forced it to cancel talks with union officials over civil servant pay earlier this month.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was due to meet with the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) on 2 May on the issue.
But the DWP insisted that the industrial action had no bearing on the cancellation of pay talks – and instead blamed the Treasury.
“We had scheduled talks on 2 May in anticipation of the Treasury having cleared our pay remit proposals,” said a spokeswoman.
“However, because we are still in discussions with the Treasury, we deferred the talks. We expect to commence formal negotiations soon.”
The PCS is to vote on a motion regarding future action in the dispute at its annual conference in Brighton on Wednesday 16 May.