Iain Duncan Smith

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

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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

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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

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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

153 Comments
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

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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

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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

130 Comments
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

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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

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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

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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

244 Comments
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

93 Comments
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

31 Comments
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

16 Comments
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

138 Comments
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

23 Comments
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

3 Comments
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

56 Comments
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

54 Comments
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

207 Comments
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

24 Comments
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

8 Comments
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

45 Comments
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

66 Comments
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

147 Comments