Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Can we afford Iain Duncan Smith?

Yet another policy of the Work and Pensions Secretary has had to be altered after a period in which he has refused to listen.  The "bedroom tax" is still a disaster.  But Iain Duncan Smith has conceded changes to allow foster carers and the parents of armed forces personnel to keep their "spare" bedrooms for when they are needed, without financial penalty.  But confusion still reigns, as they're now saying (I'm watching BBC's Newsnight) that the money is coming out of the discretionary fund.  And as the Guardian points out, it's only 3 weeks until this all kicks in.  And despite claims from Cameron and other Tories that the families of disabled children and others are exempt, that isn't true.  It's up to the local authorities to find enough from the one-off inadequate fund to cover those who apply.
As we pointed out last month, this is just the latest in a long list of messes which Duncan Smith has created. And another is looming.  A pilot of Universal Credit, in which social housing tenants on housing benefit were paid the HB directly rather than it going to the landlord, has resulted in a big increase in people defaulting on the rent.
Can you imagine keeping your job if you did it as consistently badly as IDS is doing his?  The country can't afford to have this man in any position of power.


  1. The man is an upper-crust buffoon.

    1. Too polite my friend im afraid i would have to say something a little bit stronger but agree in principal

  2. I dread to think what would become of the welfare system if IDS was given free reign to do what he wanted, or heaven forbid, become PM one day (run for the hills!!) He would need to be transported around the country in an armoured van for protection against all the people who would want to kill him. Personally, I can't stand the man. The sooner he's given a P45, the better. If self destruction is what we wanted, then yes, we could afford to keep him. But since we don't want that...

  3. Not to mention he is a criminal, broken the law. Should have been sacked after the court case and investigated by the Police, that being said he should have gone after the shocking WP figs less than 4% of 800000 got jobs for at least six months, absolute failure, not the mention the even more embarrasing fact that doing nothing is better than the WP, how was he not forced to quit?

    The there was Panaroma which shockingly revealed that poor & disabled people forced on to his welfare to work schemes are referred to as TLBs(thieving lying b*stards) disgusting again should have resigned on the Tuesday morning.

    The other shocking statement he made was heat is not a right and must be earnt and benefit claimants can use as a motivation to find work absolutely disgraceful, scandalous but like everything that vermin has said or done, nobody has done or said anything, milliband & labour are a joke, should have ripped into him and demanded he leave office.

    I read yesterday hes thinking off changing the law so he doesnt have to payback any of the benefits unlawfully sanctioned, how is that possible its like a robber changing the law so he doesnt go down, makes me sick to the stomach,

  4. Here is good one I spotted a few days ago.


    Trouble at mill !

  5. If the Tory Party couldn't afford to have him as leader 10 years ago we can't afford to have him running the biggest spending ministry in government. He must go now!

  6. In addition to the two U-turns that historian has described, IDS has also completed another last minute U-turn on the idea of forcing sick or disabled children to share bedrooms:


    IDS is a liability but his fellow Tories have known that ever since they kicked him out as their leader in 2003. The pillock has always been spectacularly incompetent as welll as being sensationally stupid but shockingly stubborn.

    The Work Programme scheme is a legal and a commercial disaster. The Bedroom Tax is another. The poorest people in society are about to be clobbered by the Welfare Uprating Bill, of which the Bishops are so critical. The Universal Credit system shows no sign of being likely to work properly any time soon.

    However, IDS is making an exceptionally good job of helping the Tories to demonstrate why they should not be allowed anywhere near Government after May 2015.

  7. Its likely that IDS will do whatever it takes, whatever the cost, to ensure UC either works, or that the reporting of its failure is hushed up. In a way I'd like it to fail, but of course that would affect a lot of innocent people very badly, and that's the problem. He needs to go, without doubt he is malevolent and incompetent.

    1. Be careful with words like "malevolent".

    2. UC isn't going to work - ever. But what they'll do is simply rename existing benefits as UC, reprint the forms, job done - just like the Tories made almost no changes to Labour's Flexible New Deal to make it into their own Work Programme. What appears to be happening is much more important than what is actually happening.

  8. Ian Duncan-Smith doesn't have the experience or qualifications to be in a senior management position.

    Rather than going to a language school in Italy for a couple of weeks, and going on a few weekend business courses when working at GEC he should have gone to university and learned how to think logically.

    When he leaves the cabinet maybe he could take an Access course to prepare him to go to university. He would enjoy studying something interesting, perhaps he could try Geology.

  9. a bit off topic perhaps, but has anyone seen A4E Lincoln's official facebook page recently?


    it has been hijacked by a4e lincoln's clients who have showered the page with vitriol and hatred, so much so that it doesn't look like a4e themselves have even dared posting since May 2011.

    This might seem like nothing, but with social media playing such an important part in the lives of [especially] young people today, you would think a social enterprise company would view sites like facebook and twitter as an important foundation of their business. in 2012, more british jobs were advertised via social media platforms than via newspapers, after all. instead, a4e's official facebook and twitter accounts[both for branches and regionally] are little more than sparsely updated, amateurish PR jobs.

    a shame.

  10. What has the article about Ian Duncan Smith and the bed room tax got to do with A4e? Can't you just stick to issues concerning the 'jokers' at A4e?

    1. I love the way people think they have the right to tell a blogger what to write!
      A4e doesn't exist in isolation. It is part of a much wider picture, and I like to reflect that. You don't have to read it.

    2. Writing about, researching and investigating A4e WITHOUT examining the policies of ministers such as Smith, Grayling and Hoban is akin to writing a book about the motor industry and ignoring Henry Ford!

      A4e are big players. However, it is ministers such as Smith who make their very existence possible. Other related areas of their policy making need very close attention as well!

  11. Another interesting(but wont work) pilot scheme IDS plans to roll out regarding drug and alcohol addicts, it states there will be a £2,500 bonus for each person the WP provider manages to keep in work for six months who are accessing treatment.
    'Ian Duncan Smith has championed the benefits of employing drug addicts and alcoholics as he launched a new drive to get them back into work.

    The Work and Pensions Secretary unveiled pilot schemes designed to help addicts get the right treatment and find jobs.

    Mr Smith insisted employers should not be put off by the "misconception" that employing people who have been through rehab is overly risky.

    In a speech at the inaugural Recovery Festival, the senior Tory said the talent of recovering addicts had been left untapped for too long.
    He suggested they could be highly-motivated, loyal and committed workers and all the more grateful for the opportunity because of their history
    The Department of Work and Pensions said 1 in 15 benefit claimants had a drug or substance abuse problem.

    It also estimates that around 400,000 people are "problem drug users" taking heroin or crack cocaine, 80% of whom are on benefits.

    Under the new Work Programme, providers will be paid more when they find lasting positions for people in treatment for drink and drug problems.

    The pilot schemes in West Yorkshire and the east of England will see a £2,500 bonus given for every participant who stays in work for six months.

    Another project, piloted in the West Midlands, will test whether Work Programme providers and rehab providers can work more closely to get more people into employment.'

  12. Hi! I have read this post, I want to say this tax should be removed, which makes unnecessarily wasting money.

  13. Were the £30m discretionary fund to be distributed equally among every claimant of Disability Living Allowance affected (229,803 in total), they would each receive just £2.51 per week, compared to the average weekly loss in housing benefit of £14.

  14. How are the local councils supposed to administer this starting in 2 weeks time if the Government is still changing the rules? Oh, and cutting their funding at the same time too, of course.

  15. The Work Programme pilots are interesting and in a sense encouraging - given that we're stuck with the WP for the foreseeable future, it makes sense to try to make it work. The two pilots (one more than the other) reflect the sort of thing that many people have been calling for from before the start of the Programme. It's under-resourced to a ridiculous extent (and is the wrong sort of solution - a supply side response to a lack of demand) but I'm inclined to let this run and see what the outcome is. However, talking to specialist VCSE providers in the pilot areas, my initial sense of optimism is dimming somewhat.

    Back to the topic of IDS - his CV is arguably glittering next to that of David Freud, who has had a more conventionally successful and lucrative commercial career whilst overseeing more car crashes than an ambulance driver. One aspect of the problem is that the people driving welfare reform aren't especially impressive or serious people, or are at least people who view the issue through a moral prism and practice policy-based evidence making, rather than the converse.

  16. Considering all the many invented schemes meant to cut various DLA/sickness payments and others, I wondered how much money has it cost implementing the schemes as compared to paying the actual benefits? As in, have the government gained money? Or have the schemes lost the government significantly more money than they gained? I understand that the delights of sanctioning claimants may have awarded some DWP workers a perverse thrill,but now all the sanctioned payments should be refunded and I think added to the refunds (should they ever happen)a large legal bill must go to the government. so all in all counting the payments to ATOS, is charlie government up (raking it in) or down (losing money like loons at a bad horsemeat party). In a sense though, they gained a patial win, in that the job seeker and DLA claims did come down, tragically caused by the huge numbers of suicides. I have my own small battle coming up soon and would feel a little warmer if I were sitting there thinking of government losses, instead of worrying about my own.


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