Ian Duncan Smith has been re-appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Work and Pensions. His smug grin can be seen almost anywhere in the press.
There is little I can say that would be printable on this page, or accord with our fair and open comment system.
I think it has been proved that the demonising of the disabled, the poor and the jobless as skivers , workshy and scroungers is just propaganda.
Patrick Butler at The Guardian, writes:
“What we do know is that the Tories will freeze the level of working-age benefits for two years from next April, disqualify most 18- to 21-year-olds from claiming housing benefit, and reduce the household benefit cap from £26,000 to £23,000. Those three policies, the IFS calculates, will find the Tories about £1.5bn a year”.
It is very difficult to see where IDS will wield his pruning shears. It is already known from a leaked cabinet office document that all the “low–hanging fruit has gone “.
Personally, I think that the figure of £12 Billion cuts in welfare was actually a bargaining chip, and an overestimation by the Chancellor George Osborne.
That figure was probably a bargaining chip if they had to go into coalition with any other party. The Tories could then bargain away some billions. The cuts would not appear quite as bad as haggling went on by these parties.
However, the election did not turn out that way, and now the Tory Party has to actually do what they said in their manifesto. They have already hammered the disabled, and found out that in actual fact, when one is disabled permanently, one does not suddenly get better because of a threatening big–stick wielded by Jobcentre staff or Maximus.
The UK Government is now obliged to implement these £12 Billion cuts on welfare, and in the coming months, families of all incomes, will be experiencing what it means to have IDS wielding his pruning shears above the low –hanging fruit and cutting into the wood of cherished benefits.
For all our sakes, I hope the solid anti-Tory representation at Westminster will fight against these expected cuts, though I am unsure how this will be achieved except maybe using membership of committees.
Nobody is immune to disabling disease, accident, or their genes, and at some point the presently non–disabled might well need the safety net of benefits to help them through a life that has changed dramatically.
However, it looks like cuts will be inevitable and permanent.