Iain Duncan Smith

Re-invigorating retirement

24 June 2010 13:46

The retirement age must rise, timing is the sole contention. Yvette Cooper asserts that the coalition’s acceleration of the planned rise in the state pension age will force those currently… Continue reading


How good intentions can be counterproductive

23 June 2010 15:37

Might the coalition’s emphasis on fairness be making it harder to get people off welfare and into work? Not a question that I can answer with confidence, but certainly one… Continue reading


The road to recovery

23 June 2010 13:20

This is a slow-burning budget. Not because Osborne has concealed, like Gordon Brown did, but because the reverse is true. The budget is, as Osborne says, a third of the… Continue reading


Field gets to work

11 June 2010 9:07

The Times leads with the story that Frank Field, the government’s independent poverty advisor, is recommending that child benefit be stopped at age 13, arguing that: ‘at that age mothers… Continue reading


The war on poverty opens a second front

5 June 2010 10:54

I detest the use of the word ‘Czar’. Everything has a Czar – potato regulation, multi-story car parks and Twitter being my favourite three. But the war on poverty needs… Continue reading


The IDS agenda could help to end the benefits trap

27 May 2010 12:41

Yesterday, it was Michael Gove’s schools agenda. Today, it’s the other main reason to get behind the coalition: IDS’s plans for fixing the welfare system. The Secretary of State for… Continue reading


How the coalition will work

20 May 2010 11:21

The full coalition agreement, released this morning, is fascinating enough in itself.  Here we have a step-by-step guide for how two different parties will operate together, what they will do,… Continue reading


What to do with all that knowledge on welfare

17 May 2010 16:17

Is Frank Field back? The Labour MP has spent much of his life talking about the poor. Judging by reports today, he might be offered a job chairing a commission… Continue reading


Frank Field would complete the Tories’ welfare reform jigsaw

17 May 2010 11:37

So now the coalition stretches as far as Labour, with the news that Frank Field is being lined up as an anti-poverty advisor for the government.  In itself, this is… Continue reading


Reasons for real hope amid the misplaced optimism

12 May 2010 18:41

Today’s civil partnership between two men who look uncannily like each other will, I suspect, be remembered as a festival of misplaced optimism. Cameron overdid it a little, making out… Continue reading


Iain Duncan Smith’s appointment is a triumph for the welfare agenda

12 May 2010 12:33

Of all the Cabinet positions announced so far, one is more eyecatching, and holds more promise, than all the rest: Iain Duncan Smith has been appointed Secretary of State for… Continue reading


Making social reform affordable

18 January 2010 15:31

Last week we heard that the Tory leadership are considering limiting their £20-a-week marriage tax break to make the policy more affordable.  And, today, Iain Duncan Smith outlines just how… Continue reading


The man who hopes to unseat Harman

25 November 2009 16:56

The papers have been stuffed with articles recently about the current crop of Tory party candidates – but few have been as readable, or as encouraging, as Rachel Williams’ profile… Continue reading


Where to start cutting

21 November 2009 15:30

Michael Portillo believes that a future Tory government, like those that came before it, will not succeed in cutting public spending. I agree with Pete: public finances are so parlous… Continue reading


The centre left asks how? Well, here’s how

11 November 2009 13:46

The One Nation sentiments that David Cameron expressed at last night’s Hugo Young lecture have been almost uniformly applauded. Labour’s sneers about Cameron being an uber-Thatcherite are isolated from mainstream.… Continue reading


Iain Duncan Smith’s overlooked "affordable policy solutions"

28 October 2009 14:00

After his superb work with the Centre for Social Justice, it’s encouraging that Iain Duncan Smith is being tasked by the Tory leadership to come up with "affordable policy solutions"… Continue reading


Is David Cameron going to be the last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom?

12 October 2009 3:16

Could David Cameron be the last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom? Clearly we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, but… Some regular commenters will hope so since this would, depending… Continue reading


Cameron’s revolutionary speech

8 October 2009 17:04

This was one of the best speeches I have heard David Cameron give. It may not have been a masterpiece of oratory, he may have read from notes, left too… Continue reading


Pre-Freudian slip

7 October 2009 15:02

Theresa May is chairing a discussion with a set of Conservative PPCs on ‘job clubs’, as part of this afternoon’s focus on welfare reform.  She kicks off asking one of… Continue reading


Tory welfare plan is welcome but does not go far enough

5 October 2009 17:38

The Tories new welfare plan is, it seems, their old welfare plan – with a more ambitious timeline. It’s to be welcomed, but this is not the step change that… Continue reading


The need to go further and faster on Welfare reform

5 October 2009 10:37

I’m on my way to the home city of the best football club in the world (and one of the worst) shortly.  In the meantime, it’s worth flagging up this… Continue reading


Clegg: Are you one of the millions who turned to new Labour in 1997?

17 September 2009 9:01

Nick Clegg joins the ‘progressive’ debate with a double of salvo in The Times and in a pamphlet, titled ‘The liberal moment’, published by Demos. The philosophically anachronistic Labour party… Continue reading


A report that should influence welfare reform for years to come

16 September 2009 14:32

Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice has released a very important report today, and one which should influence the welfare debate for years to come.  At around 350 pages,… Continue reading


Why I remain unconvinced about the Tories’ tax break for married couples

15 July 2009 12:46

Ok, Fraser – I’m not going to let this tax ‘n’ marriage debate rumble on interminably, but I do want the final word!  First, I appreciate your response – it… Continue reading


Why marriage should be recognised in the tax system

15 July 2009 10:57

Cameron has been fairly bold in entering the debate on marriage, because we don’t like do that debate in Britain. Not really – it’s private, and we Brits don’t like… Continue reading