Iain Duncan Smith

Candidates Enter Last week of Campaigning In Glasgow East By-Election

Welfare Reform is this government’s most difficult but most popular policy.

4 April 2013 9:00

I always enjoy Peter Oborne’s columns not least because his opinions are as entertaining, predictably unpredictable, quixotic and changeable as his cricket captaincy. This is not a bad thing. This… Continue reading

Chancellor George Osborne Accepts Recommendations By Lord Heseltine To Boost Regional Growth

George Osborne launches welfare counter-attack

2 April 2013 9:13

The petition to get Iain Duncan Smith to live on £53/week has amassed more than 122,000 signatures. And counting, quickly. The petition was inspired by IDS remarking, on yesterday’s Today programme,… Continue reading

The Chancellor George Osborne Prepares To Give His Budget To Parliament

Osborne and IDS promise a ‘better deal’ for working families. But a better deal is not necessarily a good deal

1 April 2013 10:36

As Fraser says, the welfare changes, cuts to legal aid and so forth, which have come into force today, have got a universal thumbs-down in the left-wing press. I expect… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith campaigning on the Easterhouse estate, where in 2002 he was inspired to start his drive for reform of the welfare system. Picture: Getty.

Why are the left so angry about today’s welfare reform? Because it’s popular – and right.

1 April 2013 9:25

It’s tough being a supporter of this coalition government. Mishap and omnishambles have come to characterise its first three years in office – but you can almost forgive all of… Continue reading

Are children growing up in poverty in spite of the welfare state - or because of it? Photo: Getty Images

Why church leaders are wrong to attack welfare cuts

31 March 2013 17:00

Another day, another welfare row. The practical outworking of the Government’s most controversial idea – that people on welfare should actually be better off in work, continues to spark outrage.… Continue reading

Edward Leigh lolls on the green benches after telling Iain Duncan Smith he didn't understand a word of his answer on migrants.

‘Tell the European Commission to sod off!’: MPs press government on migrants

5 March 2013 14:27

‘Oooh, your statement was so much more partisan than mine!’ Iain Duncan Smith almost said to Stephen Timms this afternoon as the pair sparred over Bulgarian and Romanian migrants. The… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith isn't opposing calls to look again at the welfare budget for the 2015/16 spending review. Picture: Getty

Iain Duncan Smith backs the National Union of Ministers

5 March 2013 11:00

It is significant that Iain Duncan Smith wouldn’t resist further cuts to the welfare budget in the 2015/16 spending review. This makes him one of the supporters of the National… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith has written an open letter to Ed Miliband on the 'bedroom tax'. Picture: Getty

IDS accuses Miliband of pathetic scaremongering over ‘bedroom tax’

7 February 2013 18:31

The political row over the changes to housing benefit, labelled the ‘bedroom tax’ by opponents, intensified this evening. In an open letter to the Labour leader (reproduced below), Iain Duncan… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith will support the same sex marriage bill today. Picture: Getty

Whips try to neutralise row over gay marriage scrutiny arrangements

5 February 2013 8:43

In the next few hours as the vote on the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill approaches, the ‘undecideds’ are declaring how they will vote. Yesterday I… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron Launches The Big Society Fund At The London Stock Exchange

The Big Society and the problem of faith-based policy making

8 January 2013 16:16

The real problem with the Big Society (and I speak as someone who has written in favour of the idea) is that it was a vaguely-defined description that was turned… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith attacked Labour's stance on the Welfare Uprating Bill this morning. Picture: Getty

Tories make hay with Labour’s welfare stance

8 January 2013 8:55

The Welfare Uprating Bill won’t fall into difficulty when it has its second reading in the Commons today, but with around five Lib Dem MPs expected to vote against or… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith has been reported as saying he supports the idea of a welfare cash card for out-of-work benefit claimants, but he doesn't. Picture: Getty

Iain Duncan Smith doesn’t support a welfare cash card

20 December 2012 16:46

Those nasty Tories, they’re at it again. Now they’re trying to stigmatise benefit claimants by giving them special welfare cash cards so they can’t buy booze or cigarettes with their… Continue reading

The Poles are the best immigrants any country could ask for. But why do so many still come in a recession? Because we still impose marginal tax rates of up to 100pc on our workers. Picture: Getty

Why the Poles keep coming

16 December 2012 12:26

Yes, Britain’s employment figures are strong but most of the rise in employment so far under this government is accounted for by foreign-born workers (as was 99pc of the rise… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith is a lucky man: no other minister would have survived figures as poor as those of the Work Programme. Image: Getty

How to improve the Work Programme

28 November 2012 16:49

Everyone who has been involved in the Work Programme has been warning ministers for some time that there were serious problems with this flagship policy. As this is the opposite… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith is onto a good thing with child poverty, but what about marriage tax breaks? Image: Getty

Marriage tax breaks would alleviate child poverty, Mr Duncan Smith

16 November 2012 14:51

The problem about relative poverty is precisely its relativity. The child poverty index, which measures whether a family’s income is below 60 per cent of the average, is a case… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith said he was an 'optimist' about Britain's future.

Iain Duncan Smith: the UK should ‘have it all’

4 November 2012 14:34

Iain Duncan Smith was strangely vague this morning when Andrew Marr asked him whether he thought Britain could survive outside the European Union. He said: ‘I’m an optimist about the… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith is proposing that benefits should be limited for families if they decide to have more than two children. Picture: Getty

Iain Duncan Smith’s latest welfare cut kite

25 October 2012 13:39

It is strange that the government has chosen to trail a speech by Iain Duncan Smith on an issue popular with voters on the same day as good economic news.… Continue reading

Alex Salmond speaks at the SNP annual conference. Picture: Getty

The SNP’s dismal conference

21 October 2012 20:32

The Scottish National Party conference in Perth ought to have been a festival of ideas, showcasing solutions that only be applied by independence. Instead it has reminded everyone that the… Continue reading

What would you like to ask IDS? Photo: Getty Images.

Any questions for Iain Duncan Smith?

9 October 2012 15:19

I’m interviewing Iain Duncan Smith today for a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference, hosted by the Centre for Social Justice. I will be able to grill him for… Continue reading

Illustration: Carla Millar

Conservative conference: Iain Duncan Smith rips into Labour’s welfare legacy

8 October 2012 16:46

Iain Duncan Smith has just delivered the most political speech of what has been a highly partisan conference. He tore into Labour’s record on welfare, accusing them of having fostered… Continue reading

Members of the Quad meet up. The Lib Dems appear to have resigned themselves to agreeing to further welfare cuts. Picture: Getty

Conservative conference: George Osborne to pursue £10 billion welfare cuts

8 October 2012 7:12

George Osborne is due to speak to the Conservative party conference just before lunch today. What he tells the Symphony Hall at the International Convention Centre may well put his… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith has suggested there may be further welfare cuts. Photo: Getty Images.

Conservative conference: Iain Duncan Smith admits ‘We will have to take more money out of welfare’

7 October 2012 19:56

The Tory party loves its former leaders and the queue for Conservative Home’s fringe event with Iain Duncan Smith went round the block. IDS began by explaining why he had… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith

Universal uncertainty

5 October 2012 13:15

Brushing aside recent criticism of his universal credit scheme, Iain Duncan Smith claimed that nothing now ‘demoralised’ him. After surviving two years of gruelling denigration as Conservative Party leader, he… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith needs to recognise that welfare is more complicated than he has imagined. Image: Getty.

The dangers of yearning for a simple life

22 September 2012 16:53

What is this mania for simplification? Listening to Nigel Farage struggling to explain UKIP tax policy on the Today programme this week made me wonder why, in so many areas… Continue reading

British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

Our debate on welfare reform is a dismal scandal - Spectator Blogs

19 September 2012 15:15

On balance, Iain Duncan Smith’s spell as Tory leader can’t be remembered as an unmitigated success. Be that as it may, sometimes there are second acts in political lives and,… Continue reading