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IDS resigns, allegedly in protest at benefits cuts

Iain Duncan Smith has spectacularly resigned from the cabinet today, claiming that he has been pressured too often into making cuts in the working age benefits bill in the immediate run-up to a budget.  His resignation comes in the middle of a furore over planned cuts to personal independence payment (PIP).

In his resignation letter IDS implies that he had wanted to cut benefits to better-off pensioners rather than solely targeting working-age claimants. He also casts doubt on the claim that “we are all in this together”.

However, IDS’s claims are already being undermined by Conservative MP Nadine Dorries who tweeted:

“Stunned at IDS resignation letter. I was about to vote against ESA cuts when he sought me out - he personally and angrily begged me not to.”

“Told me he was angry I was rebelling because it was his bill and reflected on him and now he resigns bcse disability cuts a step too far.”

Some commentators are suggesting that the resignation of IDS has more to do with his increasingly bitter battle with Osborne and Cameron over membership of the EU, rather than his innate sympathy for sick and disabled claimants.

IDS resignation letter in full
"I am incredibly proud of the welfare reforms that the government has delivered over the last five years. Those reforms have helped to generate record rates of employment and in particular a substantial reduction in workless households.

As you know, the advancement of social justice was my driving reason for becoming part of your ministerial team and I continue to be grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve. You have appointed good colleagues to my department who I have enjoyed working with. It has been a particular privilege to work with excellent civil servants and the outstanding Lord Freud and other ministers including my present team, throughout all of my time at the Department of Work and Pensions.

I truly believe that we have made changes that will greatly improve the life chances of the most disadvantaged people in this country and increase their opportunities to thrive. A nation's commitment to the least advantaged should include the provision of a generous safety-net but it should also include incentive structures and practical assistance programmes to help them live independently of the state. Together, we've made enormous strides towards building a system of social security that gets the balance right between state help and self-help.

Throughout these years, because of the perilous public finances we inherited from the last Labour administration, difficult cuts have been necessary. I have found some of these cuts easier to justify than others but aware of the economic situation and determined to be a team player I have accepted their necessity.

You are aware that I believe the cuts would have been even fairer to younger families and people of working age if we had been willing to reduce some of the benefits given to better-off pensioners but I have attempted to work within the constraints that you and the chancellor set.

I have for some time and rather reluctantly come to believe that the latest changes to benefits to the disabled and the context in which they've been made are, a compromise too far. While they are defensible in narrow terms, given the continuing deficit, they are not defensible in the way they were placed within a Budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers. They should have instead been part of a wider process to engage others in finding the best way to better focus resources on those most in need.

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.

It is therefore with enormous regret that I have decided to resign. You should be very proud of what this government has done on deficit reduction, corporate competitiveness, education reforms and devolution of power. I hope as the government goes forward you can look again, however, at the balance of the cuts you have insisted upon and wonder if enough has been done to ensure "we are all in this together".

Comments  

+4 #26 tazman 2016-03-21 22:29
Could his departure be anything to do with the possibility of those statistics being published. The ones on all the deaths caused by this heartless government?
+1 #25 Eli48 2016-03-21 14:19
Quoting Jim Allison:
[quote name="carruthers"]Looking at the coverage in the general press, it seems like IDS has chosen to go at a time when it will do maximum damage to George Osborne's hopes of becoming PM. Boris Johnson has just become the bookies favourite to succeed DC - especially if he has to go after losing the EU Referendum.

So Brexit will get us a government headed by Bonny Boris and staffed by the friends of IDS - what a prospect.


IDS is gone and his replacement made to Bragg, a former Thatcherite.

However, NOBODY could be as bad as IDS and Cameron & Osborne will have to review their decisions on DLA/PIP. I've made my predictions

Pure speculation. Wait until he does something first. He could be a bit better or even worse. We do not know, nor do you. They do not have to review anything and suspect that will be the case.
+4 #24 shell 2016-03-21 10:02
if this man which he is not one as most men would not dream of doing what he has done to disabled people had anything about him he would say sorry to every disabled person in this country or has this been really done with a ulterior motive i.e the un and borris going for leader of the con party it would be funny if it had not destroyed so many lives
+4 #23 Jim Allison 2016-03-20 13:45
Quoting carruthers:
Looking at the coverage in the general press, it seems like IDS has chosen to go at a time when it will do maximum damage to George Osborne's hopes of becoming PM. Boris Johnson has just become the bookies favourite to succeed DC - especially if he has to go after losing the EU Referendum.

So Brexit will get us a government headed by Bonny Boris and staffed by the friends of IDS - what a prospect.


IDS is gone and his replacement made to Bragg, a former Thatcherite.

However, NOBODY could be as bad as IDS and Cameron & Osborne will have to review their decisions on DLA/PIP. I've made my predictions
in#19 & #20.

HMCTS- Tribunals in Social Care Chamber, which includes appeals for DLA/PIP, ESA etc will need to review their practices too. Expect a flood of MC's & Appeals :-|
+6 #22 shimtoan 2016-03-20 11:49
he was sick of being made a scapegoat for his own ideas
+6 #21 carruthers 2016-03-20 01:58
Looking at the coverage in the general press, it seems like IDS has chosen to go at a time when it will do maximum damage to George Osborne's hopes of becoming PM. Boris Johnson has just become the bookies favourite to succeed DC - especially if he has to go after losing the EU Referendum.

So Brexit will get us a government headed by Bonny Boris and staffed by the friends of IDS - what a prospect.
+7 #20 Jim Allison 2016-03-19 23:15
I predict the 20 metres for enhanced mobility will be increased or even dropped. Claimants often thought it was 50 meters, in fact in the 1992 SS Act there was no maximum distance. When I sat on DLA Tribuns from 1994 to 2005. Tribunals often gave to those who walk 100 to 150 metres, but not without 'severe discomfort' which included fatigue,breathl essness, nausea etc etc. DLA/PIP appeals are now up to 65 per cent. Just watch them rise now and thousands of Motability customers will be able to apply again for a car :-)

Good luck to all. I won two PIP awards after the DM received my arguments at mandatory reconsideration s. : :o

Jim

Sorry about the - red minuses below they should have been green. Lost my iPad pen and having MS & chronic arthritis in my hands etc. Hard to input test/numbers with one finger.:sad:
+6 #19 Jim Allison 2016-03-19 22:49
Great news. Am proud to be a member of several organisations that.helped to bring down IDS aka ID Sh&t.

Jim retired Welfare Rights Lawyer and former Mod for B & W
A mere 75 years young :P but still helping DLA/PIP claimants.

Good luck to all waiting to hear if they've won their claim, MC or Appeal to a Tribunal be it FtT or UtT
+3 #18 Normski 2016-03-19 22:30
What a load of crap this shit head has being looking for a way out , what a vile person he is and always will be , hitler was a better man than hi and that takes some beating, hope you rot in hell
+2 #17 carruthers 2016-03-19 18:27
I recommend an article in The Guardian:Five factors that explain what Duncan Smith’s resignation is really about www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/19/what-explains-iain-duncan-smiths-decision-to-resign

The author includes interference from the Treasury and a personal animus between IDS and Osborne.

I'm hoping that this is also the opportunity which the Treasury has been waiting for to pull the plug on Universal Credit. I think almost everyone - including the IT people at the DWP - would be glad to see the back of that ill-thought-out project.
+5 #16 Suzanne 2016-03-19 18:15
No real surprises there, Tories have always looked after their own and they have tried to get rid of the NHS for years, under cover of other things. Remember when Maggie Thatcher said in 1979 that she wanted us to go back to Victorian values under cover of meaning Mothers should stay at home and care for the children and other such warm and fuzzy ideas? Well I said back then and I'll say it again, what she really meant was kids running around with their arses hanging out of their trousers and having to share a pair of boots between them. She meant that she wanted to keep the poor down and poorer and the rich up and richer.
+4 #15 tintack 2016-03-19 16:36
A lot of attention has been focused on the PIP cuts, but little has been said about the very recent ESA WRAG cut for which IDS voted - his sudden attack of "compassion" over the PIP cuts really did come from nowhere. It seems that cut has been allowed to slip under the radar, so WRAG claimants will still get hammered, even as the government pretends to care about sick and disabled people by kicking the PIP cuts into the long grass.
+11 #14 jen 2016-03-19 12:33
Whilst I am pleased and join masses in exclaiming GOOD RIDDANCE to IDS, Justin Tomlinson's farcical role as Disability Minister now needs to come under the microscope - he's supported all these cuts instead of fighting for the disabled and his track record is downright diabolical.
+7 #13 Bill24chev 2016-03-19 11:42
an extract fropm a recent "Statesman" intwrview with Steven Crabb

" Crabb grew up in the 1980s; he is one of Thatcher’s children. His political awareness grew during his teenage years, not just because of the political drama of Kinnock versus Thatcher but because of what was happening in the street he lived in: the right-to-buy. “For the families living there, that was a big deal actually. I can remember lots of discussions going on amongst neighbours, informal gatherings at each other’s houses about what kind of discounts people were getting on their homes and the hurdles that people would have to clear to be able to buy their homes.

‘It just so happened that my mum wasn’t in a position [to take advantage of right-to-buy]. She was raising us on her own, me and my two brothers. She was never in a position to buy her home through that route but it made a huge impact on me. Visually the street I grew up in changed as soon as these purchases started getting made.’

Crabb is an enthusiast for welfare reform. But doesn’t his mother’s experience show the system works? ‘For me, looking back, what I remember is the welfare system for us was about providing a genuine safety net at a time of crisis and severe need for my mother and her family, but what it didn’t do was lock us as a family or a household into worklessness. I had a mother who, as we got older, moved progressively from a position of complete welfare dependency to being fully economically independent, working full-time. And that has to be the model of the way the welfare system should work.’
+6 #12 Bill24chev 2016-03-19 11:32
What do we know about IDS's replacement CRABB?

sometimes it Is better the devil you know!
+9 #11 stuart52 2016-03-19 10:28
good riddance to bad rubbish IDS! does he actualy have a concience? happy days!..…there is a caveat though, and that is you can be sure his replacement will be pro osborne, pro cameron,, he/she will want to impress their new master so it may not be the good news we think it is, …an evil man has gone but replaced by what?
+7 #10 Porthole Pete 2016-03-19 10:04
Hey I never knew all your dreams coming true could be such good fun. I am going to celebrate by putting my central heating on. On low setting of course, let's not get too excited!
+3 #9 Plonker 2016-03-19 09:34
Heard the news last night and initially was glad to hear IDS had gone. The more I think about it I am a little baffled by his resignation. Why did he go on Friday? It's not as if the Budget was a big surprise to him.
Usual politics.
At least the PIP cuts SEEM to have been abandoned.
+9 #8 micksville 2016-03-19 08:59
If I could afford it I'd buy a bottle of champagne today and it wouldn't be for raising a toast, rather in joyous celebration at the demise of a monster. Agree with other posters, this is more about Brexit posturing, about perception of the cuts and how the budget made hkm look. He certainly wasn't against the Pip cuts per se, rather it was because their context within the budget portrayed them as cuts rather than reforms. Truth is they are about cuts (dressed up as reforms) as any B and W member knew gefore Xmas when the DWP announced the "consultation", with the comments about having to save money and thethreat that there would be further cuts/reforms further down the line. It's also a personal thing between him and Osbourne. What it definitely isn't about is IDS suddenly having an epjphany and discovering a social conscience.
+9 #7 angela 2016-03-19 08:39
Now wait someone else who will want to make a name for them selfs at the cost to us always someone worse out there

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