Tony Greenstein | 21 May 2014 | Post Views:

The Contemptible Ian Duncan Smith
Is there anyone more despicable than Ian Duncan Smith? He puts Scrooge to shame for the latter’s generosity. This is a man who spent £10,000 of public money having his portrait painted.
After being sacked as Tory leader he went on a mission of salvation to Easterhouse in Glasgow where he appeared to befriend the poor and unemployed. Little did they realise that he was rehabilitating his career and dissembling.

ALL of IDS’s ‘welfare benefits, i.e. cuts to the poor and unemployed have been supported by the Lib Dems and New Labour, whose Rachel Reeve promises to be tougher on welfare reform than the Tories. This is Reeve’s idea of Opposition.
 Bedroom Tax Protest – Scotland
There have been a battery of measures – forcing Incapacity Benefit claimants into Job Seeker’s Allowance, paying £27 pw less. The benefits cap, workfare, abolition of Council Tax Benefit Or the changes from DLA to Personal Independence Payments, whose openly declared aim is to cut £2 billion a year from the benefits bill. Reduction of Housing Benefit, the introduction of starvation sanctions and of course the Bed Room Tax. Dressed up as the Spare Rooms subsidy it is nothing of the kind. Houses are rented as an entity, not room by room. A ‘spare’ room is often used for children coming to stay, elderly relatives, carers and, horror of horrors, friends. The only effect of the Bedroom Tax is to drive people out of their houses or see them evicted because they cannot afford to pay with their rent. There are also the cuts to Tax Credits, the very people IDS claims he is seeking to benefit.
The net effect of all this is that people cannot afford even a hot meal for their children. The growth of food banks run by the Truscott Foundation is testimony to this. But to IDS they are simply a political gimmick. Surprise, surprise the Daily Mail has done its best to undermine them with an ‘exclusive’ about how their reporter obtained cans of food. ‘No ID, no checks… and vouchers for sob stories: The truth behind those shock food bank claims.’  From supporting Hitler to supporting IDS is quite understandable.
Bedroom Tax Protest, Trafalgar Square
And there is the new universal benefits scheme, which no one understands and which the computer systems implementing it cannot do it. IDS’s malevolence is only trumped by his incompetence.
If IDS is queried as to why people have committed suicide with anxiety It has led to people taking their lives such as mother-of-two Stephanie Bottrill – who suffered a crippling illness – committed suicide after realising she couldn’t pay the Bedroom Tax.  IDS has a standard answer. He is being fairer to those in work and he is trying to ensure that “people find work always pays”
IDS (and the coalition’s) primary aim is to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich. Under this government the commitment to reduce child poverty has gone into reverse (though IDS fiddles the figures to show the opposite). Britain’s richest 1% have accumulated as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population put together, according to the latest official analysis of who owns the nation’s £9.5tn of property, pensions and financial assets 
Whilst the poor suffer cuts, the richest 1,000 people in Britain has seen fortunes rise by 15.4% according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Their wealth has now reached a new high of £519bn
The Sunday Times described this as an ‘Astonishing’ year for richest Britons sees fortunes rise 15.4%, according to Sunday Times Rich List 
Danny Dorling, professor of human geography at Sheffield University, has charted the share of national income going to the richest 1% since 1918, the end of World War I. After falling for more than half a century, Prof. Dorling says, the share of Britain’s richest 1% started rising sharply and inequality is now on course to return to what it was in 1918. This is the full measure of IDS’s ‘welfare reforms’ which are justified by trying to divide those who work from claimants.

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Tony Greenstein

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