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Chilling Warnings From IDS About Benefit Cuts On Marr Show

March 30, 2015

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

Iain Duncan Smith yesterday warned that claimants face “dramatic”, “life-changing” cuts if the Conservatives win the election. He refused to rule out cutting disability benefits and the support group, whilst explaining that the Conservatives “may not decide that it’s relevant” to tell people prior to the election where the cuts will be made.

Chilling warning
In an interview on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, IDS gave what many sick and disabled claimants will view as a chilling warning that:

“I didn’t come into this job after years looking at this to just make cheese paring cuts.”

Instead, he said, he wanted to do things that will have a “life changing, dramatic effect, and that is about getting people back to work and improving their life chances.”

The ‘back to work’ reference appears to be a clear warning that employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants are in the firing line of any ‘dramatic’ changes.

This is especially the case as Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) is expected to cost just £2.39 billion in 2016-17, when the cuts come in, compared to £14.47 billion for ESA. So cuts to JSA would go nowhere near meeting the £12 billion in welfare savings the Conservatives have said they will make in just two years.

Disability benefits
But cuts to ESA would still not go far enough and IDS refused to rule out an attack on disability benefits as well. He argued that:

“Throughout all of my changes, we have protected the most disabled, we have kept disability benefits out of the freeze and we’ve supported the support group.”

But when Marr asked: “Will that continue?”

IDS would only respond that:

“Well, as I said, as and when the time is right, we will make it very clear what our position is.”

“When we’re ready”
Unfortunately for voters, IDS repeatedly made it clear that the right time to reveal their plans may not be until after the election, saying that “when we’re right and when we’re ready, we will talk about what we plan to do.”

When specifically asked by Marr:

“Will they know before they vote what you plan to do?”

IDS replied:

“Well you know we may, we may not decide that it’s relevant to put something out there about

some of those changes.”

No decisions made yet
In fact, according to IDS it would be impossible for the Conservatives to reveal their plans to voters because, in spite of warning for two years that they planned to make £12 billion in benefits cuts, no decisions have been made yet about what to cut.

“I can tell you now no decisions have been made. As and when decisions are made, of course we will be very open to the public.”

Improved quality of life
Perhaps the most alarming claim made by IDS was that his time at the DWP has resulted in an improvement in people’s lives:

“And I’ve said that these changes would improve the quality of lives, and I have to tell you right now our welfare reforms have improved the quality of life for the vast majority of the British people and also saving taxpayers’ money – which is the key point.”

Sick and disabled claimants have already been hit by the bedroom tax, the switch from DLA to PIP, the time-limiting of contribution-based ESA, changes to council tax, changes to the way benefits are uprated and more.

The prospect of IDS spending another five years improving their lives may ensure a very high turnout of claimants on May 7th.

You can read the full transcript of the Andrew Marr interview here.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2015 11:45 am

    This man is pure evil. He knows exactly where the cuts will hit. His policies will drive the poor, unemployed, sick, & disabled into poverty.

  2. maria permalink
    March 30, 2015 1:21 pm

    Its funny he should say that because my life has never been so poor quality as living in these last 5 years. And I am disabled and they refused to give me the help I needed to help me into work. The total opposite from what he has said he has done.

  3. March 30, 2015 2:32 pm

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  4. Patricia Hodgson permalink
    March 30, 2015 3:46 pm

    Way overdue, Benefits have been over generous for FAR too long, stifling the work ethic, & encouraging a culture of dependecy. IF this is true it’s great news.

    • March 30, 2015 4:59 pm

      So, it’s “great news” if severely disabled people – whom, at this time, even this vile government accept are too disabled to work – have further cuts to their only income. I care 24/7 for a severely disabled person – I used to receive the carers’ allowance of ca £60, but, because of the cuts, I don’t – happy? We don’t receive much as it is, & further cuts will seriously limit how we live. However, people who have fallen for the propaganda will be overjoyed!

  5. Nick permalink
    March 30, 2015 6:31 pm

    IDS makes for a chilling read and my view is that he will cut all benefits for those that can leave the house

    to him this will make sense as it will prove you are sick and disabled as you cant leave the house and are under constant care already

    As for everyone else they will have to fight hard to stay alive and it may be that that group will have to leave the country and live elsewhere in the world where costs are cheaper

    if it comes to that those forced to leave will need the help from everyone else who is effected as you will need to forge a large group so that those who are slightly fitter then the others will need their help in making sure their lives are supported in the best way possible

    i did talk about this to mp 5 years ago that this is the path we could be heading down and if it is the government needs to make sure another country will take us in

    phew this is never going to be easy to accomplish but if i have to go i have to go and at the end of the day IDS wont be changing his mind

    the only move the public can take is to not vote Tory at the next election as to do so will no doubt kill off many sick and disabled as we have seen over the past 5 years

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