David Cameron to defend welfare reforms following Iain Duncan Smith resignation
David Cameron will today defend his Government’s approach to welfare reform in the Commons, following Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation as Work and Pensions Secretary.
The PM wrote to Duncan Smith on Saturday, describing himself as “puzzled and disappointed”, after Duncan Smith resigned over what he called “deeply unfair” welfare cuts.
Cameron is expected to defend his record today, describing himself as a ‘compassionate Conservative’.
The Irn Bru Chancellor's sugar levy is a small step in the right direction
Behind the sugar tax: the budget, the sugar levy and the cuts
COSLA calls for public services to be ‘local by default’, as it launches manifesto for local democracy
But SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie said “Iain Duncan Smith’s crocodile tears are a distraction from the real issue at hand”, calling the Government to “abandon their ideological commitment to austerity cuts”.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, Duncan Smith denied claims his resignation was linked to the upcoming referendum on the EU, but instead because of concerns over proposed cuts to Personal Independence Payments.
He said: “Juxtaposed as it came through in the Budget, that is deeply unfair and was perceived to be unfair.
“And that unfairness is damaging to the Government, it’s damaging to the party and it’s actually damaging to the public.”
Stephen Crabb, who replaced Duncan Smith, is expected to announce that proposed cuts to Personal Independence Payments have been abandoned.
Hosie said: “Iain Duncan Smith’s crocodile tears are a distraction from the real issue at hand – while the deep divisions at the top of the Tory party widen and the mud-slinging continues, disabled people and those on low-incomes are still expected to bear the brunt of the Tories’ obsession with austerity.
“The UK government was warned that slashing £12 billion from the welfare budget would do real and lasting harm but the Tories are determined to plough on, cutting even more from the disability budget. What this resignation proves beyond doubt is that the Tories’ must abandon their ideological commitment to austerity cuts.”