Iain Duncan Smith

British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

Why Universal Credit delay is a good thing, not a political failure

11 July 2013 17:06

‘Iain Duncan Smith must now ask himself if he is fit for purpose.’ That’s what Liam Byrne thinks of the Work and Pensions Secretary’s admission that the roll-out of Universal… Continue reading


The ‘conservative wing of the coalition’ toast Maggie and roast Dave

28 June 2013 19:17

Margaret Thatcher’s death has reinvigorated her devout following in the Conservative Party. The current Prime Minister was wise to give the House of Lord’s terrace a wide berth last night.… Continue reading

Billy Bragg: power to the people, vote Tory! Photo: Getty Images.

Billy Bragg may not like it, but the Conservatives are the new workers’ party

6 June 2013 11:37

Ed Miliband argued this morning that the Labour party ought to be more focused on people working. ‘The clue’s in the name,’ he said. The irony is that Labour gave… Continue reading

Eurozone Debt Crisis - General Imagery

European Commission makes the case for curtailing its own power

30 May 2013 9:22

If anyone pushing for reform of Britain’s relationship with Europe was hunting for an example of why there needs to be a renegotiation, they would have struggled to find a… Continue reading

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

George Osborne rules out further welfare cuts as IDS offers solution to spending review stalemate

28 May 2013 9:03

George Osborne’s broadcast tour this morning served two purposes. The first was to reward those ministers who aren’t playing hard to get in the spending review negotiations by praising their… Continue reading

Image: PA

Can you really give back your pensioner perks?

29 April 2013 16:30

This weekend, Iain Duncan Smith sparked a furore when a Sunday Telegraph interview quoted him as saying he would ‘encourage everybody who reads the Telegraph and doesn’t need [their winter… Continue reading

Philip Hammond was made defence secretary because of his ability to balance the books. Picture: Getty.

Ministers burrow under the ring-fences for spending review

29 April 2013 9:07

Bids for the 2015/16 spending review will land on George Osborne’s desk today from Secretaries of State across Whitehall. Some, like Iain Duncan Smith and Patrick McLoughlin, are signed up… Continue reading

British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

IDS highlights contradiction of pensioner perks as spending review deadline looms

28 April 2013 10:42

It isn’t the first time that ministers have suggested wealthy pensioners might want to hand their universal benefits over to those who really need it, but Iain Duncan Smith’s proposal… Continue reading

Ed Miliband

I hate to admit it, but Ed Miliband has a point about welfare and language

7 April 2013 16:11

In his Mail on Sunday column today, James Forsyth gives a fascinating insight into what both main parties are thinking as we move from welfare wars into local election campaign… Continue reading

Photo: Getty Images.

Matthew Parris is right – and George Osborne should calm down.

6 April 2013 10:46

George Osborne has been behaving rather oddly of late. Normally, he’s known as the ‘submarine’ for surfacing only twice a year. Now, it’s twice a week. On Tuesday he delivered… Continue reading

A menace to society? Image: Getty

The political class’s new phobia: big families

5 April 2013 14:38

After almost a week of media breast-beating about the Philpott case, a creepy consensus is emerging over benefits for children. Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative backbencher, wants child benefit to be limited… Continue reading

The war against Iain Duncan Smith’s efforts has shown that this country appears unwilling to make basic judgements. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Philpott case should prompt debate about Britain’s underclass

4 April 2013 18:39

The Philpott case has already turned into a row about media reporting. You can see why. It is so much easier to argue about a newspaper front-page than to talk… Continue reading

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