Iain Duncan Smith resigns from key ministerial post

By staff writers
March 18, 2016

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, has resigned tonight (18 March 2016).  In a letter to the Prime Minister, he stated that although he was proud of his achievements, the decision to cut Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was not defensible in the light of other budget decisions:

Mr Duncan Smith said in his letter: "I have for some time and rather reluctantly come to believe that the latest changes to benefits to the disabled and the context in which they've been made are, a compromise too far. While they are defensible in narrow terms, given the continuing deficit, they are not defensible in the way they were placed within a Budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers. They should have instead been part of a wider process to engage others in finding the best way to better focus resources on those most in need."

The shock decision, in a week that has seen the government come under fire from its own supporters, as well as others, for  policies impacting disabled people, has produced considerable debate on social media. Prime Minisiter David Cameron has said he is "puzzled" by the decision. 

* Ekklesia's commentary and analyis on disability issues can be found here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/disability



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