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 642.

    To be able to citicise people on benefits you need to have been there yourself. The vast majority of people on benefits have to re-quaify over and over again. Come October 2013 a whole new benefit system will be introduced, Iain Duncan Smith's baby, 'Universal Credit' When this hits the fan 100's of thousands of low paid working families will be badly affected. You ain't seen nothing yet!

  • rate this

    Comment number 641.

    Number 6
    Every time the minister speaks their is total silence, they have lost the people

  • rate this

    Comment number 640.

    I was reffering to are the Independants/Party X

    Brilliant - more Galloways is just what wwe need..........

  • rate this

    Comment number 639.

    629 : The Bladesman,

    But the question is "when" ? My niece had three jobs, but she was made redundant from two recently. She has not enough money to buy things now. Multiply that several million times over and it equals more economic contraction. It is a vicious circle, with no way out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 638.

    Oh Gawd, take 10 and everyone comes out to play.


    "...do you advocate some sort of dictatorship or are you possibly ageeing that 'faces' run the country behind the scenes so any voting is futile?"

    No I don't advocate a ditatorship. I have no idea why you attributed that to me. The "faces" I was reffering to are the Independants/Party X not some behind the secnes

  • rate this

    Comment number 637.

    You know regardless of the way the current mob in power are behaving I would like to say I feel so lucky & privilaged to live here in the UK.
    With so many worse places to live in the world, we do not have starving masses on the streets & in the main we have no real reason as yet to be afraid of the government so on the whole I am Proud to be British & count my blessings it could be much worse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 636.

    If people receive benefits they should contribute to society for them. There are loads of stuff that can be done to improve our country which isn't being done because it is very costly and so far of low priority. How about removing litter or, pertinent to this time of year, making a start on removing invasive species that are strangling our native species. Our area would be the place to commence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 635.

    We don't need more than 600 MPs. Sack 400 of them with no benefit entitlement.

    Now that's what I call austerity!

  • rate this

    Comment number 634.

    608. Name Number 6:

    Only Rupert Murdoch himself could generate so many derogatory comments about our Royal Family as I have seen here today. Yours are some of the worst and, as such, you must be his doppelganger.

  • rate this

    Comment number 633.

    @626.Sue Doughcoup

    Is £1400 per week, 12 weeks holiday a year plus expenses not a good crack then ?

    Not forgetting the various other earners for 'speaking', 'advising' etc

    Paying people more doesn't get you quality.....look at the Kinnocks for proof

  • rate this

    Comment number 632.

    The Sunday Times "Rich List" shows that the rich are getting richer and have been for about three decades. 'Austerity' is a word for redistributing wealth from the large majority of the population to the 1 - 5% of the wealthy and powerful. The Government is looking after the interests of its own class. They were aided and abetted by 'useful idiots' like Gordon Brown.

  • rate this

    Comment number 631.

    614 : Rob,

    But the bulk of the unemployed are in places like Liverpool aren``t they ? It is here that the attacks on the poor would be keenest, not leafy Surrey. 99% would like a job. Try refusing a job in an area of plenty ! This belief of some that it is "easy" to fiddle is ludicrous. They have sanctions which they can use---and they use them too.

  • rate this

    Comment number 630.

    When they finally admit that over 51% of the welfare bill goes to Working tax credits, which in turn allows companies to pay poor wages to maintain growing profits, they might just do the right thing with tax payers money.
    Instead of propping up the profits of the few, how about they help the majority out of poverty.
    I would gladly swap the 21 pills a day, back brace and walking stick for a job

  • rate this

    Comment number 629.

    @620. alltoplay4

    I applaude your neices and nephews and am convinced that they will prosper in comparison to those that prefer to stay at home and claim benefits.

    Those well-paid, long-term jobs are still their but people will need to work harder for them. China, India and other countries can do what we used to but alot more efficiently. We need to accept this.

  • Comment number 628.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 627.

    588. TheBladesman: I didn't mean to suggest it was wrong, just that pensioners aren't doing that badly compared to some others on G.O.E.T.s list. Absolutely everybody defends their own corner, which is what makes it so difficult to say who should 'suffer'

  • rate this

    Comment number 626.

    580 Golgotha.

    Too right - not. It beats me why anyone would want to become an MP, PM or cabinet member on such a pittance for the job. They represent an electorate who turns on them at the slightest whim when they are trying to do their best. Although MPs do a good job generally salaries should be a lot higher so then we might attract independent MPs of a high calibre.

  • rate this

    Comment number 625.

    Say you work in the Welfare State Chip Shop. You earn 30K per year and want a pension of 15K per year. You serve your welfare recipients £45K of haddock per year.

    Crisis! The economy implodes. The Welfare State Chippy must halve its costs!

    Easy. You still pay yourself 30K. You still get a pension of 15K. But you give your welfare recipients .....nothing at all!

    It's happening now.

  • Comment number 624.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 623.

    In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.


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