Iain Duncan Smith opposes suggested £10bn welfare cuts

Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith says the government should support people who find themselves 'in difficulty'

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Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith says he would not accept a suggested extra £10bn of benefit cuts.

He told the Times that welfare should not be "an easy target" and the government had "a responsibility to support people in difficulty".

The government identified an £18bn reduction in welfare spending by 2014 in last month's Budget.

Chancellor George Osborne says an extra £10bn cut in welfare spending would avoid extra cuts for other departments.

Mr Osborne also said that, if not curbed, welfare spending would consume one third of public spending within three years.

The chancellor said in his Budget speech: "If nothing is done to curb welfare bills further, then the full weight of the spending restraint will fall on departmental budgets. The next spending review will have to confront this."

But when asked if he thought a further welfare cut of £10bn was acceptable, Mr Duncan Smith said: "My view is it's not."

In an interview with the Times, the former Tory leader suggested further savings could be made but stressed the need for a "balance of what we're trying to achieve".

"There is in my view no such thing as an easy target in welfare," he said. "Some people think there is: until I show them where we spend the money.

"My view is that you have a responsibility to support people in difficulty. It's a prime concern of ours - we can't run away from that."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 342.

    We live in a world of darwinian natural selection. When people have attmepted to make it fairer things have got worse. The solution is to allow nature to take its course. Those who have witnessed suffering in the third world must surely be sickened when benefits are given to drug users and malingerers. The evolved answer is to cut the benefits for those who cannot work regardless of reason.

  • rate this

    Comment number 341.


    There are many, many highly debilitating mental illnesses that prevent people from doing taks as simple as say cooking their dinnner, & they need someone to help them which is exactly what DLA is for...."

    You'll never explain mental health issues to someone who has never had to care for someone who has them. Just pray to [insert deity of choice] that they never have to.

  • rate this

    Comment number 340.

    History shows quite clearly that if you keep making the poor poorer you will end up with riots, revolutions and civil wars. The cost of these in all kinds of ways is huge, more more than creating a just, decent society. Anybody objective can see our problem is peopel in society who are very rich but produce very lttle. Because the poor consume very little they are pretty much irrelevant.

  • rate this

    Comment number 339.

    There's so much apocryphal rubbish bandied about regarding the numbers on benefits and the amounts that these people receive that it's almost impossible to have an informed & balanced view. The coalition are keen to demonise the unemployed & disabled as though they brought it upon themselves. Yes there are absolute s****s abusing & manipulating the system to suit themselves, but give us the facts!

  • rate this

    Comment number 338.

    The people against cuts- why? The government is still borrowing £1 for every £5 it receives. It was this heavy borrowing on a personal level that caused the financial mess. Who do we blame, the one liberally giving or the irresponsible for applying for 100% mortgages 10times their wage? Regardless, are living beyond our means and are being bribed. You cannot spend yourself out of debt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 337.

    I know it’s not just the OAPs but I don’t have much space to write here, its all honest people that need the help that will lose out, while the same old same old milk the system, it’s a scandal

  • rate this

    Comment number 336.

    "Tsunami of Logic
    Well it doesn't - the money was really borrowed from some over generous bankers. Now that money has run out - time to get off your backsides!"

    Where did the "over generous bankers" get the money from? Did they "create" it or get it from the rest of us? Since it was the letter, what right did they have to be "over generous" with OUR money?

  • rate this

    Comment number 335.

    315.Adrian Swall - There is a big problem in this country who think that insults with no rational are really clever, it is ONE of the resons we are going down the pan. I know dodgy Dave and the others set a terrible example but it will never be smart to trash anybody you don't like. It's just pathetic. You prove only your own inferiority with your lack of respect and thought. You are thick.

  • rate this

    Comment number 334.

    324 ex tory voter
    Totally agree but the idiots in government want to sell off the council houses cheaply which will just drive up rents.
    328 bobbgooduk
    Apart from using interest rates or QE then pretty much the market does control it. Mainly based upon the state of the economy and its "safety". Hence why the AUD is now 1.48 to the GBP and was 3 10 years ago
    331 But they dont pay them from DLA?

  • rate this

    Comment number 333.

    Benefits should only be paid to those with the ability to work - the economy is central to survival as a society. It is a harsh world and I don't like to see suffering. So for the drug users, elderly, chronically sick and infirm there should be civilized self-euthernasia clincs as a alternative to destitution and dying on the streets like the third world. But we must compete to survive today.

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    Billions of pounds in unclaimed Pension Credit and other benefits

    Does this £10bnm includee or exclude, i refer http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/press_office201022 and http://www.moneyvista.com/news/news-articles/billions-of-pounds-in-unclaimed-pension-credit-and-other-benefits ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 331.

    325.JasonEssex - "...What is the extra money from DLA for? I fail to see how giving extra money to someone with..... mental health issues....."

    There are many, many highly debilitating mental illnesses that prevent people from doing taks as simple as say cooking their dinnner, & they need someone to help them which is exactly what DLA is for....

  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    Usual tosh from comments and politicians alike! Is this the best we can do as a species, we can land men on the moon but fail to exist in a society that is equal, peaceful and cooperative. Instead we settle for wars, poverty and class, its called capitalism!

  • rate this

    Comment number 329.

    310- The elderly get more than they ever have had in previous generations.People need to be encouraged to pay into private pensions as soon as they enter work. They get a public pension, free eye tests, free dentistry, free bus pass, winter & fuel allowances and free prescriptions... non of these will exist by the time I retire!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 328.

    @JasonEssex - so you're saying that the UK has no control over the value of its currency, that "the market" controls it?
    So much for the UK maintaining its fiscal independence if you're saying that barrow-boy currency traders have more power than elected governments.

    @joval - one reason why I left the UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    The real problem in this country is the worship given to "the market economy". This adoration of money sends some people mad. They think the country is getting richer when loads of people are having to hang around doing nothing. They also think it's efficient to create a system where a large chunk of the country are rebelling, and so the country can extract nothing from them. small % reduction?

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    So there is £10 billion to give to the IMF, yet Osborne wants to cut £10 billion from welfare at a nod.

    Lets ask the IMF for our money back, and do this the sensible way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    306 budgiebird
    Your missing the point. What is the extra money from DLA for? Its a genuine question. I fail to see how giving extra money to someone with alcohol problems helps them? Or mental health issues?Or drug problems?Surely if you have mental health issues you don't have additional expenses to someone on JSA?
    311 Scrap CB alltogether for children born after 2014. Hope your health improves

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    The majority of the benefits budget gets spent on rent. A simple way to reduce that would be to build council houses, which would also stimulate the economy. Two birds, one stone - but Tory ideology once again gets in the way of practical solution.

  • rate this

    Comment number 323.

    We should be increasing welfare & increasing the minimum wage. And taxing the the likes of Bob Diamond and companies like Vodafone far more than we do.


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