With the Tories’ election triumph turning £12 billion in welfare cuts from a coalition bargaining chip into something they are actually committed to deliver, squirming Iain Duncan Smith has had mates brief the Observer on his “confidence” in delivering on their manifesto:
A second source close to Duncan Smith confirmed that the cabinet minister believed that there could be no “salami slicing” of the welfare budget, but insisted that he was committed to the £12bn figure and was “confident he can do that”
Errrrr. Just don’t mention the time he told a national newspaper (£) that such a level of cuts would amount to balancing the books on the backs of the poor — saying he would block previously proposed (lower) cuts of £10 billion:
“There is in my view no such thing as an easy target in welfare. Some people think there is: until I show them where we spend the money”
“My view is that you have a responsibility to support people in difficulty. It’s a prime concern of ours — we can’t run away from that.”
IDS is now spinning that this level of savings can only be achieved along with significant “structural reform”.
Perhaps he can remind us who was responsible for delivering structural reform of the benefit system during the last parliament … and then cocked it all up?