Iain Duncan Smith yesterday sparked fury by claiming people are “better off” under cruel Tory reforms that hit the poor and vulnerable when the figures say otherwise
Duncan disorderly: IDS is way off the mark
With workers facing falling wages, benefits for the disabled slashed and OAPs stranded at home starved of basic care, life is hardly a bed of roses for millions of struggling Brits.
But hatchet man Iain Duncan Smith yesterday sparked fury by claiming people are “better off” under cruel Tory reforms that hit the poor and vulnerable.
The deluded Works and Pensions Secretary’s own department revealed the number of disabled or sick people suffering harsh benefits sanctions has soared by a shocking 700% in a year.
And Age UK warned almost a million elderly people are going without help because of cuts to the care system.
IDS Reality Check
700% - Rise in disabled people hit by Tory benefit sanctions
870k - Elderly people denied basic help because of council cuts
-0.2% - Average fall in pay while homes hit by inflation rising 1.9%
A separate report yesterday showed average pay, including bonuses, dropped 0.2% in the year to June – as inflation rose to 1.9%. And homelessness charity Shelter revealed almost 600 households a day are at risk of losing their home as the cost of living crisis deepens.
But Mr Duncan Smith stunned those struggling to pay bills, feed families and keep a roof over their heads by going on radio and bragging: “The Government’s plan to build a fairer society is working.
“Lowering the tax threshold means what you earn you keep more of. Freezing council tax means that, actually, people in income terms are better off.”
Opposition MPs, unions and social campaigners laid into him over the astonishing boast. Shadow Treasury Secretary Chris Leslie said: “This is no time for complacent and out-of-touch claims from ministers.”
Mr Duncan Smith used a rise in employment figures to launch his gloating claim that things have improved. But he failed to mention the Tories have also cut tax credits and hiked VAT, hitting millions of people in the pocket.
And the Bank of England yesterday slashed its forecast for wage growth in 2014 from 2.5% to a below-inflation 1.25% on the back of the fall in pay figures.