I’m getting tired of writing about this goon.
I suppose I should apologise for harping on about him, but Iain Duncan Smith has done it again! Today he has been banging on that it is unfair for benefits to rise at a faster rate than wages.
He used percentages to support his claim, saying jobless benefits have risen by 20 per cent in the last five years, compared with an average 12 per cent rise in private sector pay.
Smith is trying to get you to think that the jobless are making more money than working people, and those figures are probably enough to fool the unwary television news viewer or radio listener.
But what happens when we use actual amounts of money to illustrate this?
According to financial journalist Paul Lewis on Twitter, this means unemployment benefits have risen by just £11.85 per week, while average private sector pay has risen by £49 a week.
How’s that difference looking now?
Bear in mind that inflation over the last five years was 13 per cent – for everyone – and you’ll see that nobody is making a killing here.
IDS is living in a world of his own, though. He’s arguing for a cap of one per cent on benefit rises, for the next three years – effectively removing six per cent of jobseekers’ income by the end of that period.
In effect, the Secretary of State for what used to be called Social Security is saying: “The poorest in the UK aren’t poor enough for my liking. Let’s show them how powerful we are by grinding them into the dirt!”
Don’t forget, the bedroom tax is coming into play in April, when Council Tax Benefit is abolished. The benefit cap is also being introduced this year, and Universal Credit is due to needlessly complicate matters further in October.
If you are affected by any of these, make no mistake: Iain Duncan Smith and his government want to make you destitute and put you on the street. It won’t matter if you voted Tory; they fooled you then and now they’ll throw you into the gutter without thinking twice.
That’s what these figures mean.