IDS should be a candidate for his own Work Programme

Iain Duncan Smith has failed to get Work Programme providers to “support” harder-to-help claimants into work, according to the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee. It used the example of Employment and Support Allowance to illustrate its criticism, saying almost 90 per cent of claimants on the Work Programme have not moved into jobs. This is no surprise to anybody. If it’s news to you, where have you been for the last three years? Work Programme providers hit back against criticism in 2013 by saying they needed more money – a move that…

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How clueless do you have to be to believe Iain Duncan Smith?

The Man With No Time for the Truth is back again with more of the same shenanigans. Iain Duncan Smith reckons his huge and unnecessary benefit cuts are breaking up the culture of unemployment on the UK’s housing estates – a culture he likened to that shown in the TV drama Shameless. There’s just one problem with what he’s saying: It’s rubbish. “The Work and Pensions Secretary revealed that cuts to jobless hand-outs had reduced the number of workless households in council homes to the lowest level since records began,”…

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FOI? Or just FU?

It seems Yr Obdt Srvt has become the victim of DWP game-playing that shows contempt for sick and disabled benefit claimants whose lives are threatened by poor decision-making. You may be familiar with the following saying (or at least with the fact that George W Bush wasn’t): “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” I mention this as a precursor to the following story, for reasons that should become clear. Back in May, I sent another Freedom of Information request to the Department for Work and…

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Iain Duncan Smith really did claim expenses for his underpants – and reduced the woman who revealed it to tears

Tom Pride has been doing his research: If there were ever any doubts that Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith is a very nasty bully of the highest order – as well as a hypocrite of the highest order – this little anecdote will surely remove them. Around 10 years ago – when IDS was leader of the opposition – you may remember the ‘Betsygate‘ scandal when it was revealed he’d been using taxpayers’ money to pay his wife a wage for doing nothing. In October…

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Keep talking, Iain – your idiot ideas will run your party right out of office

Iain Duncan Smith typifies the classical definition of an idiot – and his latest speech will prove it by ignoring Britain’s real problems in favour of self-centred, ideologically-motivated foolishness. The Greeks used to believe idiots were ignorant people, incapable of ordinary reasoning, whose judgement in public and political matters was poor – but who refused to change their minds. If you don’t think that’s Iain Duncan Smith, take a look at parts of his speech, as quoted in today’s (Monday) Daily Torygraph. First off, take a look at the headline:…

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Esther McVey is a compulsive liar who should be kicked out of government

Note to Iain Duncan Smith: It is not a good idea to try to inspire confidence in a £multi-billion “money pit” disaster by wheeling out Esther McVey to lie about it. The woman dubbed “Fester McVile” by some commentators has accumulated a reputation so bad that the only way she can hide the metaphorical stink from the public is by associating with …Smith himself, in whose stench she seems almost fragrant. But not quite. This is a woman who has lied to the public that it is impossible to carry…

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Blame David Cameron for the catalogue of Conservative lies

Don’t expect Conservative ministers to do the honourable thing when they are found to have misled Parliament – it turns out they have ‘previous’ (or is it ‘form’?) in this regard. Take a look at the YouTube clip above. It is from an April, 1994 episode of Have I Got News For You and refers to Nicholas Scott, then a minister of state for social security, who ‘talked out’ a private members’ bill aiming to outlaw discrimination on grounds of disability. On behalf of the Conservative government of the day,…

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Back to the drawing-board (again?) for Universal Credit

It is a testament to the ineptitude of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain ‘Sunken’ Smith that his flagship scheme has been sent back to square one – listed as “reset” by the government organisation responsible for grading its progress. Mr… Smith (otherwise known as RTU or Returned To Unit, in tribute to a lifetime of failure) is determined that Universal Credit – which rolls all the major benefits into a single payment which the government can manipulate to make life extremely uncomfortable for claimants – will be his legacy; the…

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Why should we endure this disrespect from a public servant?

“I can say with the strongest feeling my concern about the hubris you have demonstrated and your tone to this committee. You haven’t explained – certainly to my own satisfaction, and I am sure anybody that has been watching will draw their own conclusions – you have not made any satisfactory explanation about how you have informed, and kept this committee informed, about the difficulties that the Department was experiencing. There has been obfuscation, smoke-and-mirrors, even up to a few weeks before the report from the National Audit Office. The…

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Poverty: The situation’s bleak, but the future looks worse!

We all owe a debt of thanks to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for its work to reveal the depth of poverty in British society today. The Foundation’s latest report reveals that – even by standards that have slipped since the Coalition government came into office – in-work poverty has galloped ahead of that suffered by those in workless and retired families – proving once and for all that, under the Tories and Liberal Democrats, work doesn’t pay! But the situation is actually worse than the figures suggest, because the poverty line…

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