Iain Duncan Smith defends welfare reforms
- 08 Jan
Iain Duncan Smith has defended the government's decision to restrict social security and tax credit payments to below-inflation rises, saying it will bring about a rebalancing of wages and benefit payments.
The work and pensions secretary said the coalition's decision to limit increases in working tax credits and some benefit payments to 1% until 2016 had not been taken lightly and was being carried out on behalf of low-paid workers who would otherwise pick up the bill for higher government debt.
Although the government will win Tuesday's vote, Labour says it will oppose the three-year squeeze. The Liberal Democrat former children's minister, Sarah Teather, said she would vote against the coalition and government sources were said to be anticipating a rebellion by about five Lib Dem MPs.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Duncan Smith said:
We don't take this decision lightly. Nick Clegg myself, the prime minister, the chancellor accepted that when we discussed this we're doing this because we have to get the deficit down.
We've seen a gap growing between those in work with their [wage] rises and those in welfare. The reality is we're trying to bring that back into a balance.
Public sector workers have had salary rises pegged at 1%, while the CPI rate of inflation in September - the measure used to calculate benefit upratings - was 2.2%.
Duncan Smith described the tax credit system as "outrageously messy", saying that 70% of the tax credits bill was down to child tax credits, which did not have a work condition applied to them.
Labour will vote against the below-inflation rise, which was first outlined in the chancellor's autumn statement in December. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said it was a "tax on strivers".
A day after the coalition's much-hyped relaunch, Duncan Smith sided with the Lib Dem leader, Clegg, in stepping away from characterising those on benefits as either shirkers or strivers.
He said that through his universal credit reform, his department would ensure that "money would go to the lowest paid".
He also gave one of the strongest hints yet that pensioner benefits - which make up more than half of the total welfare spend - could be cut in the future.
Pensions and universal old age benefits such as winter fuel payments, free TV licences and free bus passes, have been left untouched during several heavy rounds of spending cuts.
Duncan Smith argued that if cuts were to be made to this age group, they needed to be given time to adapt to reductions in income.
- 08 Nov
NHS BOSS SETS OUT A CASE FOR CASH BOOST
The speech by Mr Stevens at the NHS Providers' annual conference of health managers is being made at the time when three reputable health think-thanks- the Health Foundation, the King's Fund and the...
- 09 Jun
THERESA MAY PLEDGES TO REPLACE THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT 1983
According to Ms May, the new bill would introduce the following:According to the Tories, the proposals were described as the biggest change to mental health treatment law in over 30 years.Ms May...
- 30 May
THE PRESENT FIRST PRIME MINISTER OF SCOTLAND IS TO PLEDGE AGAINST ANY PLANS TO PRIVATISE THE NHS
It is also expected that Sturgeon will do the following as proof of her party's commitment to fighting against further austerity:Sturgeon said this before Tuesday's manifesto launch:"While the polls...
- 17 Mar
402 MILLION POUNDS WILL BE INVESTED IN COUNCILS WITH THE GREATEST HOMELESSNESS DEMAND FROM APRIL 2017
Presently, funding is only used for homeless households and not for the prevention of homelessness in the first instance.The funding by the Department for Communities and Local Government is set to...
- 15 Mar
RULES AROUND PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENTS MAY CHANGE ON THURSDAY
Ministers have advised chief executives of over 30 charities which claimed that people will be left without vital financial support, to restrict access to a disability benefit.The Disability Benefits...
- 06 Mar
THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN URGED BY THE BMA TO INCREASE HEALTH SPENDING BY 10 BILLION POUNDS
This increase in health spending to a proportion of GDP that matched that of the 10 leading economies across Europe could pay for at least 35,000 extra beds a day and many more GP's, according to the...
- 05 Sep
MANY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REFUGES AT RISK OF CLOSING DUE TO HOUSING BENEFIT CAP
Women who have been victims of domestic violence as well as their children are at risk of falling into the hands of their violent partners if the government caps housing benefit in the social sector...
- 03 Sep
Data on disability benefits refused by DWP
DWP officials have refused a second request for basic information on disability benefits using the “Section 22” exemption they used previously, reports The Independent.The Department had been...
- 02 Sep
UN to investigate how welfare reforms will affect disability rights
A disability charity in Scotland has said it’s been contacted by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as part of an inquiry into Britain’s treatment of people with...
- 01 Sep
Benefit cuts affecting 48,500 families in Liverpool
Analysis from Liverpool City Council has found that around 48,500 households are likely to lose their benefits due to new government reforms, reports the Liverpool Echo. Councillor Jane Corbett has...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Found the seminar very informative and gave an interesting and full insight into current thinking about the consultation. Michael was a very engaging and knowledgeable presenter and encouraged interaction with the audience which led to further relevant points being shared with the room. I shall certinaly look out for future events!" M.E. - Care Housing Association