Iain Duncan Smith

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


‘Denuded’ Work and Pensions committee sheds little light on Universal Credit

17 September 2012 20:22

The Work and Pensions Select Committee was much denuded this evening, chair Anne Begg told the guests: its membership had either been promoted in the reshuffle or had personal crises… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith

Keeping it simple: getting the Universal Credit back on track

17 September 2012 15:38

Universal Credit, a giant effort to weave together all the fraying strands of welfare policy, is now unravelling fast. It all seemed so simple and intuitive when the idea was… Continue reading

Sir Jeremy Heywood pulls the strings of Cameron's government. But can will he scuttle welfare reform?

Iain Duncan Smith versus Jeremy Heywood

16 September 2012 16:32

There’s war in Whitehall. The Sunday Times devotes its p2 lead (£) to the fact that Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, is ‘sceptical’ of the Universal Credit, the key to Iain… Continue reading

The Universal Credit is supposed to streamline benefits from October 2013. Picture: Getty.

Briefing: Universal Credit

11 September 2012 13:45

MPs are due to debate the government’s plans for universal credit in the House of Commons this afternoon. The Opposition Day motion questions whether ministers have ‘failed to properly account… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith must beware of ignoring warning signs about the implementation of the universal credit. Picture: Getty.

Iain Duncan Smith denies threat to universal credit

10 September 2012 18:03

Allowing Iain Duncan Smith to dig his heels in at the Work and Pensions department in last week’s reshuffle sent out two messages. The first was that the Prime Minister… Continue reading

Daniel Finkelstein inadvertently derails the re-shuffle. Image: Getty.

How Danny Finkelstein botched the reshuffle

4 September 2012 14:19

Word reaches Mr Steerpike that Times columnist Danny Finkelstein played a decisive role in the reshuffle. As is widely known, Danny speaks to George Osborne regularly and those inside Whitehall know… Continue reading

Croupiers Hone Their Skills At Casino School

Morning of the Blunt Knives - Spectator Blogs

4 September 2012 13:40

Provided you remember a few simple rules the Expectations Game should be the easiest test to pass in politics. It is not complicated: under-promise and over-deliver. Or, more succinctly, never… Continue reading

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Jeremy Hunt has made an unexpected comeback. Photo: Getty Images.

Morale, communication and party discipline are key to David Cameron’s first reshuffle

4 September 2012 13:14

Iain Duncan Smith’s decision to stay at DWP means that the reshuffle is not quite as radical as some in Downing Street were hoping it would be. But it still… Continue reading

IDS will be staying put at the DWP. Photo: Getty Images.

Exclusive: why IDS was offered Justice, and how he turned it down

4 September 2012 10:09

Yesterday afternoon, David Cameron met with Iain Duncan Smith. According to a Downing Street source, IDS was offered the job of Justice Secretary. But the Prime Minister did make clear… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith's department has come under fire for failing to secure adequate financial penalties from Atos Healthcare. Photo: Getty Images.

The weak contract worth £100 million

17 August 2012 18:05

Moving people off sickness benefits and back into the workplace was never going to be an easy job. It’s a sensitive process dealing with all the grey areas that complex… Continue reading


Good jobs news goes against grain

15 August 2012 11:16

Ministers are generally cautious in welcoming falls in unemployment in case they represent a blip for just one quarter. But Iain Duncan Smith was pretty chipper this morning when the… Continue reading


Victory for ministers on ‘slave labour’ schemes

6 August 2012 16:45

Ministers were relieved today when the High Court ruled that the Work and Pensions Department’s back-to-work schemes are not ‘forced labour’ and do not breach human rights. The case had… Continue reading

David Cameron outside the door of Downing Street, Getty Images

The secret seven

22 July 2012 13:38

David Cameron’s decision to convene an inner Cabinet of seven Tories to advise him is a sensible move. As I say in the Mail on Sunday, calling this group together… Continue reading

Members Of The Cabinet Attend Their Weekly Meeting

The benefit cap is a key test of compassionate Conservatism

16 July 2012 21:45

David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s railways announcement wasn’t the only attempt today by the coalition to bounce back from the strife of the past few weeks. Iain Duncan Smith also… Continue reading


Transcript: IDS on Today

25 June 2012 12:15

Iain Duncan Smith appeared on the Today programme this morning. In a heated interview with Evan Davis, the work and pensions secretary was interrogated about David Cameron’s radical welfare proposals.… Continue reading

David Cameron Campaigns At Sir John Hunt Community College

Return of the nasty party?

25 June 2012 9:15

David Cameron is at his best when circumstances force him to be bold, or so the thinking goes. With his government floundering and the wounded media baying for blood, the… Continue reading


A more ambitious approach to fighting poverty

14 June 2012 15:00

‘You attack poverty by knowing what you do changes the lives of those people.’ In that phrase on this morning’s Today programme, Iain Duncan Smith summed up the difference between… Continue reading


The pensioners’ benefits battle

28 April 2012 13:41

During the last election campaign, David Cameron repeatedly promised to protect pensioner benefits. In one of the most heated moments in the Prime Ministerial debates, Cameron accused Labour of telling… Continue reading


IDS turns up the volume on welfare cuts

28 April 2012 11:04

Iain Duncan Smith is quietly spoken. His interview with today’s Times (£) is a case in point. The political elite are ‘distanced’ from the people, he says. The Leveson inquiry… Continue reading


IDS’s important call for ‘social value’

13 March 2012 17:37

It’s the same for celebrities and policymakers: talking about marriage gets you headlines. Hence why the newspapers have concentrated on Iain DuncanSmith’s remarks today that ‘marriage should be supported and… Continue reading


Ed Miliband turns back to Brown (again)

9 March 2012 15:49

At the end of last year, Ed Balls suggested that Labour would be ‘taking a tougher approach to conditionality [for benefit claimants]. If people can work, they should work.’ Now… Continue reading


Raise the tax threshhold and let youth prevail

26 February 2012 16:13

Youth unemployment is approaching crisis levels in Britain. For almost two decades, Britain’s more flexible labour market had favourable effects on youth employment. But the re-regulation of the British economy… Continue reading


IDS defends his work scheme — but he may have to change it

21 February 2012 16:21

Articles by politicians are often flat and passionless. Not so Iain Duncan Smith’s effort for the Daily Mail today. The welfare secretary sets about defending the government’s Work Experience scheme… Continue reading