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Iain Duncan Smith continues to refuse to say where the axe will fall when massive cuts are made in welfare benefits if the Conservatives win the next election. Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, IDS said that that ‘categorically yes’ savings of £9 billion will be made.

However, a select committee found only last week that since 2010, welfare reforms that were supposed to save £19 billion have saved only £2.5 billion. Given that pensions are largely protected, this raises doubts about the chances of savings being made without very deep cuts to working age benefits.

Marr: “Of the undiscussed, unmentioned savings to come in the next government, if it’s a Conservative government: £9 billio. That is equivalent to the entire budget for disabled people, most of the budget for housing benefit. It’s a huge amount of money, I’m just asking you where that is going to come from. Where are your targets?”

IDS: “Well, I’m not going to start discussing exact specifics. We have already one thing which is we will continue that freeze on benefit growth as we have done already, we’ll extend that. And that will save a significant sum of money.

“But what I will say that as we come forward we will talk more about what we are going to do to save this money. People should not doubt our intention to get the deficit down. If we don’t get the deficit down we don’t get borrowing down people pay more in taxes.

“You don’t do it necessarily by cheeseparing or cutting. What you do is you do it by changing the way that people go about their lives, more people in work, more people getting a sustained income, more people off housing benefit as a result, more people in full time work. That’s the way that you really reduce the budget overall. And that’s the way that we’ll be approaching the savings.

“But if you ask me are we going to be able to make those savings, my answer is categorically yes. And I’ve already discussed this with the chancellor.”

However, only last week the Treasury Select Committee found that welfare reforms made since 2010 by the coalition that were expected to save £19 billion have, in reality, only saved £2.5 billion.

Savings from getting people into work are especially hard to achieve. Even with the much higher than expected rise in employment, JSA spending is only expected to fall by £0.6 billion a year. In the meantime, spending on tax credits is expected to be £0.2 billion a year higher, because many people moving into work are on low wages which entitled them to tax credits.

The committee also found that some of the growth in self-employment was due to the JSA sanctions regime pushing claimants into “non-genuine” self-employment.

Overall, the committee found that because of problems and delays with disability benefits and universal credit, plus the rise in housing costs and continued low wages:

“Welfare reforms that were originally expected by both the Government and the OBR to yield savings of £19 billion have in fact resulted in only £2.5 billion of savings.”

It is against this background that IDS’ claim that he can cut the benefits bill by getting more people into full-time work should be viewed. The reality is likely to be very different indeed.

You can download the Treasury Committee’s autumn statement report from this link


+2 #7 Brian 2015-02-23 20:05
a lot of us no doubt have worked hard all our lives and then been hit by some kind of disability that totally changes our lifes,this causes pain and misery to most of us and then just incase we have not suffered enough the tories set ian duncan smith on us. well thank you, thank you very much.
+3 #6 Paul Richards 2015-02-19 22:05
Hi all,
Is this any real surprise - as has been mentioned so many times before - IDS really thinks that he is totally above any recompense whatsoever - WHY? - This totally egotistical prat - whom truly believes that he is ABOVE everyone in any authority at all - ALL of you, without exception, sum it all up. He is a total sh*t - together with all of his Tory Government - as has been so many times on here before - All of them look after the wealthy/the rich/the very rich/the oligarchs and the fully vilified and despised (W) Bankers!
He & his Government have dropped 50 tons of red bricks down onto the heads of the poor, the sick & also the disabled of the U.K. whilst (with having no compunctions at all, SUPPORTING the rich & the Bankers as above!) looking after all of themselves - (££££££).
SHAME on this Tory (& NOT FORGETTING!!)th e Liberal Democrat
Coalition - THEY and THEY ALONE & TOGETHER have produced this horrible situation as regards the poor, the sick and the disabled.
+7 #5 Stephen David Winder 2015-02-18 09:02
Am I Shocked, Surprised? ----No! All that this load of Scum have done since being in office, is to treat this Country in a Dictatorial way. It started with them openly verbally attacking the sick/Disabled which encouraged a vast majority of the public to jump on the bandwagon, & in some cases adopt Physical Assaults on Disabled people. They continue to verbally deride Benefit claimants & see us as the scourge that has brought about the deficit. It some ways Hitler started this way with the Insane, Disabled before adding the Jewish population into his murderous mix.
They continually ignore those who fall into the 1% of this Country who own 99% of it's wealth & who are the real guilty ones driven by greed!
What with M.P's expenses fiasco, & now this about Swiss Bank accounts, should a PROPER investigation be held & those culpable be brought to Justice, the National Debt would be wiped out!
Not that it will happen, we will just get another white wash that will fritter out.
The whole lot of this Gov. are nothing short of Chisler's, thieves, & Liars, who should be indicted for Abuse of Office.
Never have I seen/heard such absurd lengths a Gov. will go to, to, Vilify a section of the population who can least afford to defend themselves.
+6 #4 tintack 2015-02-17 19:11
Quoting Jim Allison:
IDS should suffer from MS or some other illness which doesn't kill you, but can make life very weary & unpleasant.

Of course, to fully bring home the nature of the "customer experience" he's inflicting on claimants he should also be deprived of the money he married into, and forced to jump through the same hoops as the rest of us. And then be told that he isn't ill enough to qualify for benefit because the government is making sure that benefits only go to "those who really need them".
+7 #3 tazman 2015-02-17 17:39
I watched the interview with Andrew Marr and IDS and realised that he just cannot help being annoyed by people doubting him. He can't help lying either and his ego is enormous. I would like to see how he treats the people who work for him as I have a feeling that it would be a nightmare. I have had to live with mental health problems all my life and working for people like him has always resulted in sick leave. I just hope that the possibility of employing someone to uncover the lies comes to fruition. I am absolutely terrified of the tories coming back into power. If they do, it will be one long miserable game of which of them can be the meanest.
+7 #2 Jim Allison 2015-02-17 15:46
Nothing new there then, he has consistently refused to supply this information to the Commons Select Committee on Work & Pensions.

He claims to be a devout christian ( Roman Catholic) as I am, but our current Pope Francis has never condemned what IDS is doing to the sick & elderly.

IDS should suffer from MS or some other illness which doesn't kill you, but can make life very weary & unpleasant.

He should remember, that despite Cameron being a millionaire that he chose to claim DLA for his late son, but now backs up IDS in replacing DLA for PIP which thousands ,even on indefinite awards will lose because of the the harsher legislation and statutory instruments PIP has introduced.
+6 #1 pusscatsmum 2015-02-17 15:08
They will not be happy until they have made those who are bed bound employment as 'dummies ' in shop windows, those who are blind to become 'sniffer dogs', those who have lost any limbs, fine for everything as they can have modified limbs added. The deaf can become traffic wardens, the elderly will all be put into an early grave once they reach retirement age as as the govt said it can no longer feather bed pensioners. Anyone else left behind can dam well go to work for peanuts as as they said before anyone who is unwell for work should not be paid the full amount. There we have solved the welfare problem they have already set out to do without saying what will happen. This is what they are really saying.
The govt hate to admitt they are wrong and that the ill and disabled require help and compassion cos that costs money which the govt insist they should have to featherbed their pensions - thats why they are MP'S and the like- and shucks to the rest of us.

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