Sanction threat to health: Duncan Smith replies with lies

Iain Duncan Smith has responded to the concerns of fellow Catholics over the harmful effects of benefit sanctions on health – by lying to them. Earlier this year, Catholic magazine The Tablet published an open letter from fellow Catholics to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, urging him to rethink his welfare reforms, and warning that vulnerable people will be harmed by cuts. Now the man we call the Gentleman Ranker, in tribute to his failure as an Army officer, has responded with a letter published in the current…

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It’s your conspiracy of silence over benefit deaths that is disgraceful, IDS – not our hugely popular petition against it!

Iain Duncan Smith has hit a new low this week. The Gentleman Ranker has labelled the British people as “disgraceful” because they are supporting a petition to force his Department for Work and Pensions to reveal information that should be published routinely. “Disgraceful”, is it? To This Writer, it is “disgraceful” that the Secretary of State has lied to his fellow MPs yet again about the facts relating to people who have died while claiming sickness and disability benefits. The “disgraceful” Duncan Smith said, “The Department does not collate numbers on people…

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DWP employees: Do the right thing – because Iain Duncan Smith never will

The effect of Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘welfare reforms’ should, by now, be plain for all to see: Increased poverty – including child poverty, the torture of starvation for people who have been sanctioned off of benefit and cannot afford food, hopelessness, despair, suicide. We saw the signs as long ago as 2012, when the man we call RTU (Return To Unit) and SNLR (Services No Longer Required) launched his famous rant on the subject against Owen Jones. This blog reported it at the time: “Irately wagging his finger in Mr…

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Duncan Smith has ruined the DWP – and has nothing to show for it

Universal Credit has been an unmitigated calamity and so-called ‘reforms’ intended to end billions of pounds of spending on Incapacity Benefits every year have instead increased the cost – that is the end-of-Parliament report on Iain Duncan Smith’s Department of Work and Pensions from Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). In addition, the department has suffered serious – and possibly lasting – damage to its reputation since 2010, a reputation that was at a high when Mr Portes left it in 2008, due…

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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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Iain Duncan Smith has emerged from under his rock to announce means-testing for disability benefits

Iain Duncan Smith was practically invisible during the Conservative Party conference. He made a speech – apparently. Can anybody remember what it was about? It seems to have been obscured by overarching interest in what people like Theresa May, George Osborne and even David Cameron had to say. Well, he’s back now, talking such flagrant and unremitting nonsense about his job that it is hard not to remove the asterisks from the following description of his words: B*llsh*t. So in Saturday’s Telegraph he was b*llsh*tting about his mission to kill…

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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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‘Not quite true’ – it’s the story of Iain Duncan Smith’s life

A comment piece in today’s Guardian has used new research to demonstrate that RTU’s (that’s Iain Duncan Smith to the uninitiated) claim about people opting for unemployment as a lifestyle choice is “not quite true“. Hopefully the piece’s author, Hugh Moir, will forgive us if we don’t bat an eyelid in surprise. Researchers spent eight months failing to unearth any examples of joblessness as a lifestyle choice, or multiple generations of a family in which nobody had worked. And – crucially: “They did not find any prevailing aversion or reluctance…

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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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