Posted by Hari on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 with No comments | Labels: Austerity, benefits, Big Society, budget cuts, inequality, the government, Tories
SOURCE TELEGRAPH: Iain Duncan Smith resigns as Work and Pensions Secretary in protest at cuts to disability benefits
Iain Duncan Smith has dramatically resigned from the Government in protest at George Osborne's proposed cuts to benefits for the disabled. The former Conservative leader said that plans to cut the benefits paid to the disabled by more than £1 billion were a "compromise too far." He added that they are "not defensible" when announced alongside a budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers. Mr Duncan Smith also accused the Chancellor of forcing through cuts to welfare for "political" rather than national economic reasons. George Osborne had offered to delay planned changes to disability benefits with sources saying they would be "kicked into the long grass". However, the offer was not enough to prevent Mr Duncan Smith, a former Conservative leader, from walking out of the Government. He added: "I am unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest. "Too often my team and I have been pressured in the immediate run up to a budget or fiscal event to deliver yet more reductions to the working age benefit bill. There has been too much emphasis on money saving exercises and not enough awareness from the Treasury, in particular, that the government's vision of a new welfare-to-work system could not be repeatedly salami-sliced." He made it clear in his letter than he believes the Government should instead be focussing on reducing benefits for pensioners which have largely been protected during the austerity drive.