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 674.

    I trying to remain calm, collected and diplomatic but even I am getting agitated. A theoretical discussion / debate is fine if you know what you are talking about, but unless you have experienced the benefit system and the associated strict regulations, means testing and routine regular re-qualification required it is very difficult to be able to make judgements.

  • rate this

    Comment number 652.

    Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.

  • 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 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 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!


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