The Tories think they are the party of hardworking people, hardworking families, workers versus shirkers, strivers versus skivers.
How embarrassing then that their Work and Pensions Secretary, evil suited egg Iain Duncan Smith, admits his party hasn’t “done the work” on their next round of spending cuts.
For a while the Conservatives have been dodging the question about where their projected £12bn of cuts to the welfare bill are going to fall. And apparently that’s because they actually have no idea.
Watch his admission on the BBC’s Daily Politics welfare debate here:
Video: BBC Two Daily Politics
If ever there was proof that the Tories’ attack on welfare is purely ideological, with no actual policy-based thinking behind it, this is it.
Here’s the transcript:
AN: Let me come – speaking of a benefits and welfare, let me come back to you IDS. Now in March you said that you are – I quote you: ‘May or may not decide that it’s relevant to reveal to the British electorate where the £12bn of welfare cuts are going to come from in the next government’ if you win. Why don’t think it’s relevant that we should know?
IDS: Because we’d have to have done the work on it, that’s why and we’d have had to reached agreement as to exactly where those are. We’ve let know – the public know exactly one area which was that we’re going to freeze those benefits. That’s going to save between 2 and 3 three billion pounds and also –
AN: About £2bn now with low inflation.
IDS: – and we’re going to lower the cap to £23,000 which is average earnings. But as I said on the Marr programme more recently I said, you know, as soon as we have done the work and had it properly modelled then we will let everybody know what that is.
AN: Shouldn’t you have done the work before you come to the British people to ask for re-election?
IDS: Yes, but the key area here of course –
IDS: no, well okay, but the key area here is that everyone is very clear that after the next election, if you get a Conservative government we have already said that we will save £12bn from essentially working age benefits and we’ve said that. That’s very clear. But I have locked out –
SW: What I don’t understand is … what you won’t cut. If you’re clear you won’t cut pensions, child benefit, disablement benefit.
RR: Well he hasn’t completely about child benefit.
SW: Then why can’t you be clear about what you will cut?
IDS: Well because, as I said, the work that we do on this will be done in the spending room, we will announce that out at the time.