Iain Duncan Smith laughing

A group of leading Catholics have broken ranks to criticise Tory welfare reforms in a letter to Iain Duncan Smith which begins “We are fellow Catholics”.

The missive, published by Christian think tank Ekklesia, will come as a blow to the cabinet minister, whose religious convictions have provided a fig leaf for harsh reforms — describing unemployment as a “sin” and stating that his Catholicism is “integral to everything I do”.

“We understand that your Catholic faith is important to you, and your approach is driven by a desire to improve the quality of individual lives. However, we believe that they are in fact doing the reverse.

While the letter, which invokes a papal encyclical, also covers Work Capability Assessments and the chaos of Personal Independence Payments, its strongest language is reserved for benefits sanctions — comparing the treatment of disabled people to criminals:

“We were shocked to learn that your Department recognises sanctions can lead to a deterioration in the health of a claimant. Yet sanctions continued to be imposed. This, as a punishment for what may be a clerical or timekeeping error, seems excessive.

“We would not expect prisoners in our jails to be punished in this way, and would be grateful if you would consider whether it is an appropriate way to treat people who are unemployed, sick, or disabled.

The letter drops on the same day that leaked documents reveal that the government could be set to cut disabled benefits by £30 per week.

  1. It is time the Bishops emerged from their palaces and attended food banks, let their ministry prosper where a better man than they once preached. We are witnessing the dismantling of the welfare state for political reasons.

    you shall know him by his works

  2. gary ashworth says:

    If ian duncan smith has ever read the bible then he clearly did not understand jesus’s message to help and love the disabled and not torment and dehumanise us like he does

  3. This vile creature doesn’t care how his policies hurt the poor or disabled.
    His only goal is his own furtherance of his political career and bank balance!

  4. Can you imagine the outcry if they extended the sanctions regime to the NHS? If you’re 5 minutes late for an appointment you’re refused NHS treatment for 4 weeks no matter how ill you become if you die or commit suicide in the interim you’re saving them even more money. Of course they wouldn’t publish any statistics about these deaths as people might infer some kind of causal link.

  5. Perhaps we should start a petition to the Pope to excomunicate him. i think there is a lesser action the Pope could take but I can’t remember what that is..

  6. The man is no Christian by anybody’s definition, that he pretends to have faith shames all who really do.
    He wears his cloak of hypocrisy with an arrogance typical of his politics.
    His behaviour should disgust his party and the Anglican and Catholic Churches, that it hasn’t tells us more about those organisations than it does him.
    A bully, a coward and a degenerative sociopath.
    A pox on him and all those who voted for him.

  7. Raymie McCabe says:

    The should have excommunicated this bonehead years ago… He should have issued an encyclical called;

    ‘The only time Ian Duncan Smith should be near ‘the written word of mass’ is when it’s immediately followed by ‘mudrerer’.

  8. john russell says:

    Maybe the threat of excommunication will wipe the smirk off of Iain Duncan Smith’s face

    John Russell

  9. Hi what about the people who have fought for this country died or lost body parts yet the government still take our money and go to restaurants and drink alcohol and eat expensive food when people are starving and have mental problems from the war which that put us in all because of there greed for money the government should been in prison for theft of our money not us to be punished again

  10. The most evil people throughout history have hidden behind religion. Duncan-Smith is no different.

  11. The Tories have always been self serving but the Tories of today seem particularly distasteful. I wasn’t expecting to see such a hard hearted government as Thatchers government again but it seems I was wrong. This lot might want to hide behind pragmatism but so little of what they do seems to make any sense. It’s as if they are glorying in austerity and want to bully anyone they think they can. They are horrible evil little s***s and I hope whoever voted for them this time will realise their mistake with the benefit of hindsight and make up for it at the next opportunity.

  12. Don’t ever call yourself a catholic you vile creature you have no heart it is of stone. We own you and we will break you. You on the other hand will not be welcome into the catholic church I will make sure you stay away. He is sn absolute disgrace to us catholic peope he therefore must be sacked

  13. I would have thought that any religion would be ashamed to have IDS amongst them, he has killed 10,600 people, he has a massive hatred of anyone who is poor, sick, disabled or vulnerable. The man is thoroughly evil, he has no care for his fellow human beings suffering, whether they starve to death or are homeless living on the streets. The sick & disabled are treated like nuisances or criminals because they need help. God forbid that you ever need help IDS the people would spit on you!

  14. Its irrelevant whether Ian Duncan Smith is a catholic or any other religion, he is the same as Thatcher, who showed the Tories how to treat the needy, the vunerable, the old, with contempt.
    They feel no shame. The only way to stop them is to hit the streets and keep protesting until they stop the assault on our people.

    I agree with Stuart above, the people who voted Tory should hang their heads in shame.

  15. Linda Lane says:

    I never liked IDS and now I hate him. 2 of my children (29yr old’s) are physically disabled. They fear for their futures and so do I. We should all pray, Catholic or not, for the Tories and IDS to get a massive dose of reality in their own lives. People do get old, sick, have accidents and sadly some are not born equal to others.

  16. IDS needs to be kicked out of the office, he is a dictator who is going back with his mates to the 1930s,where there was hell and distruction,, and that is what is gona happen now,cameron osbourne IDS,,, THE 3 STOOGES r going to rip our country apart,, and there is no one gona be able to stop them,,u can c poor houses,more food banks,there will be thousands on the street, and its gona cost more to do time behind bars,like the courts, could be around a £1000,taken to prison by transport,£600, then weekly whilst u r doing time, that also would be around £800 to a £1000 a week, so to take of those who should not be touched,,,well the toriestorie tellers are winning.and they r gona get worse,,, hope god strikes those who r so evil in the tories,????? cos we are gona get hurt real bad,,,,

  17. This man is doing more harm to the sick and disabled . People are suffering while the tory toffs wine and dine on the money that these poor people need and deserve. I think he should hang his head in shame.

  18. ian strange says:

    If Duncan Smith is a genuine Christian then I’m Atilla the Hun. For this hideous man to implement these cruel policies without a single thought for their impact on vulnerable people makes him in my eyes a thoroughly evil b*$#@!d

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