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 602.

    Lets face it, you could live your entire life without ever working. Free council house, JSA, child benefits if you have a family and its wrong.

    Why should working people (not necessarily rich but those who simply work) fund these people to do nothing but sponge off the government.

    Furthermore, why do people defend those capable of working yet prefer not to? I think its obvious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 601.

    As good an idea as any other.

  • rate this

    Comment number 600.


    I'm not advocating any one party or independant and I'm not saying that any of these may be morally superior to the candidates of the 3 main parties (but they probably are) BUT my question to you is....what have we got to lose if we have a coalition of popular opinion ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 599.

    584. alltoplay4
    I have not and have no intention of defending the rich, I also made no reference to criminal activity.
    I am talking about young men in their prime avoiding work, girls getting pregnant to get housed, people having more kids while unemployed with no means to pay for them.
    Believe me I know of many personally.

  • rate this

    Comment number 598.

    Ian Duncan Smith is either right or wrong.George Osborne is either right or wrong?
    Look forward to see which of them resigns first.

  • rate this

    Comment number 597.

    @ 581. Name Number 6
    Few people deny poverty in the 1920's was far beyond anything we see today.
    wider point = inequality of resources is an inevitable result of differences of ability/luck among individuals and families. question is what level of inequality do we want ? Also financial inequality is only one kind, some are cleverer, better looking, etc. Equality is impossible + not desirable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 596.

    People are now changing their mind. Whether they consider the result of stagnation, the ideology of a smaller State, loading the budget requirements onto those in our joint society least able to defend themselves, lack of political courage in tackling the banks who caused the crisis, sleaze, or the appropriate people to do the job of government, reconsideration of 2010 is becoming more concrete.

  • Comment number 595.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 594.


    Yes, the reason the wealthy are becoming wealthier whilst everyone else is trading down isn't to do with the wealthy doing things wrong."

    See the Panorama on Lord Ashcroft.

  • rate this

    Comment number 593.

    Be aware people; in spite of the rhetoric, the govt is very happy to have many of the population dependent on benefits.
    It is deliberate and has many perks for them in terms of societal control. Govt has suborned the welfare system.
    The problem is created by govt so that we can be saved from it, by them.
    It is a protection racket.
    As is the Global Financial Crisis (TM)

  • rate this

    Comment number 592.

    583. thelostdot
    Please read the entire thread between myself and alltoplay4 to understand the context of my posts.
    My arguement isn't with the general unemployed - far from it - it's the ones who think the system owes them a living and don't need to contribute like the rest of us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 591.

    no, we don't deserve anything from the government ,but we do deserve everything we have paid into.

  • rate this

    Comment number 590.

    Yes, the reason the wealthy are becoming wealthier whilst everyone else is trading down isn't to do with the wealthy doing things wrong. The problem is with those of limited or no means who refuse to adjust to the way things are. Yes, you've been hit by the shock doctrine and you are suffering 585 etc, but whose fault is that? You tolerate the feckless through a dysfunctional benefits system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 589.


    Perhaps I should rephrase the question. Why do you feel that party X or an Independant is morally superior to their counterparts in the three main parties? What makes you feel that, if Party X or a group of Independants were in charge of the country they would be "better" than the current clowns we have?

  • rate this

    Comment number 588.


    ''...85% of pensioners have an income equivalent to medium wage and range of benefits...''

    You say this as if this is wrong. The majority of elderly people deserve it.

    Its up to us of working age to support them. However, we are also having to support too many people of working age.

    The majority of benefits should go to the elderly and not to people capable of working.

  • rate this

    Comment number 587.

    22 Minutes ago

    The welfare system is designed to support people such as yourselves and quite rightly. After 40 years of working you deserve anything you can get from the government.


    Your information is from deadpansean? Enough said.
    The 0.86% quoted is JSA alone & includes no other Benefit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 586.


    A million marched against the Iraq war then, quite probably if you read into statistics, a large proportion of that same million voted again for Labour at the next election.

    It wouldn't all be a waste of time IF these same people and others thought for themselves and for the future of the country !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 585.


    I look forward to when you are out of work, have no money & homeless, then come back & post your disgusting comments. You cannot even be described as remotely civilised. People like you are the reason why this country is so deeply pissed off, because we have I'm alright jack attitude in this country with no thought/care or compassion for the less fortunate. See you in gutter.

  • rate this

    Comment number 584.

    572: Rob

    I meant no such thing about your status. I do not want to know either.
    I "doggedly" defend the principle of placing the blame where it belongs. I do not defend criminal activity, but when you are on the bottom, desperation can take over.This does not excuse it,but I understand what despair can do. The rich cannot make a similar claim,

  • rate this

    Comment number 583.

    572 Rob. How do you know there are these people who only take from the system? How did you get that info? Tiny amounts of resources are used by the unemployed, relatively few wealthy who dishonstly "use the system" get far, far more, bu then I wouldn't expect those who couldn't even see that their policies would lead to recession to see that. These policies have failed, how about some new ones?


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