Despite his supposedly principled resignation, Duncan Smith's legacy is one of deep prejudice and stigma
As the dust settles on a weekend of vicious Tory infighting, we’re taking a few moments to reflect on the legacy of Iain Duncan Smith. Since 2010, one constant in a changing world has been that, on a quiet news day, you could always dig up something villainous going on at the Department of Work and Pensions.
From the archives, here are five of our favourite stories about IDS. They remind us that his sudden attack of conscience over Personal Independence Payments come after years of assaults on the poor, migrants, the disabled, the elderly and anyone else he could take a pot shot at.
“Speaking in the House of Commons, yesterday, the work and pensions secretary talked about getting disabled people in work up to the levels of ‘normal, non-disabled people’…”
“The mainstreaming of benefit sanctions and their extension to the working-poor is a grotesque interpretation of how social security should work. It treats those who need help as presumed guilty, not innocent. It is another example of the Tories ‘Hunger Games’ politics, seeking to divide the nation at every turn.”
“The Quiet Man is turning up the volume. We wish he wouldn’t.”
“Iain Duncan Smith seems to believe that the fact he once toured impoverished council estates in Glasgow gives him an understanding and level of compassion that none of his critics can possibly possess. But, the misery that his reforms have unleashed demonstrate that he is delusional. He has overseen a chaotic department that worsens the lives of the most vulnerable. Ministers have resigned for far less.”
“Then there was the news today that the phone number claimants will need to call to access IDS’ new Universal Credit will be premium rate. That means it will cost callers at least 45 pence per minute to call from mobiles, and 12p a minute to call from landlines. These rates will be especially high for people who have ‘pay-as-you-go’ phones – top-ups typically used by people who cannot afford contracts.”Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.