Iain Duncan Smith resignation: CPAG's response

March 19, 2016

In response to Iain Duncan Smith's resignation as Work & Pensions Secretary, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group, said: 

"This is a resignation letter from a work and pensions secretary like no other.

"In many ways, the reasons he provides echo many of the concerns we expressed this week on the Budget and in the months since the election.

"The Government's cuts to benefits and tax credits for the disabled, ill, children and the low paid, in effect, have funded tax cuts worth billions which overwhelmingly benefit the better off. These have been cuts made out of choice, not of necessity.

"What's really worrying is the future of the government's flagship Universal Credit policy - just as its roll-out is about to be accelerated. This was originally the Government's main poverty-fighting policy but it has repeatedly faced Treasury raids which have degraded its effectiveness. These culminated in the Summer Budget in 2015 when Treasury cuts changed the calculus of Universal Credit so that on average it will lead to lower levels of support for people needing help. The Government has now stopped publishing the figure for how many, if any, children will be lifted out of poverty by the policy.

"Rather than 'we're all in it together', the legacy of the tax and benefit changes made since 2010, according to independent projections by the IFS, may end up being the biggest rise in child poverty in a generation - from 2.3m children in poverty in 2010 to 3.6m by 2020.

"The Government as a whole and his successor in particular need to address these issues."

Ends

 

For more information, please contact Imran Hussain 07983402283