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Monday, May 11, 2015

Iain Duncan Smith is back and unchecked by the Liberal Democrats

I woke up this morning to the news that David Cameron has reappointed Iain Duncan Smith to the job of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. It is not good news.

Whatever people may think about the last Government's record on benefits (and it wasn't always pretty) it could have been a lot worse. There were many cuts that the Liberal Democrats vetoed. Now it seems that the Tories have a free hand.

The Independent sets out 11 reasons why the poor should be worried. These include lowering the benefits cap further, scrapping housing benefit for those under the age of 21, extending the bedroom tax, abolishing statutory maternity pay and cuts to the access to work fund.

Danny Alexander, the former Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, leaked a memo to the press a week before the election revealing a ‘secret’ plan by Mr Duncan Smith to make swingeing cuts to child benefits and child tax credits to slice £8 billion from the welfare budget. The Liberal Democrats blocked that scheme. Will we see that plan put in place now?

Finding those £12 billion of cuts in the welfare budget could make life a lot harder for many vulnerable people.
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