In yet another blisteringly crazy outburst, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith presented figures claiming that working-age benefits have risen by a higher percentage than private sector wage rises.
He claims that many working-age benefits have risen by 20% since 2007, whilst wage rises have increased by 12%, allegedly costing the UK tax payer £6.3 billion since the start of 2008.
Of course, he was using data that supports his government cronies ‘crusade’ to target the vulnerable of society rather than the ACTUAL data relative to the rise in benefits. It turns out that he was using the wrong figures.
An analysis of Job Seeker’s Allowance showed that the benefit – which Duncan Smith should have been using if he was referring to people who are able to work – shows a much lower rise when compared to wage rises.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne said longer-term figures showed JSA had risen by 32% since 2002/3 while average earnings rose 36% over that time. “Iain Duncan Smith has given the green light to a £14 billion cut to tax credits that’s pushing millions of working families into poverty and now means thousands of part-time workers are better off on benefits.
“Now he wants to hit working families again with his striver’s tax bill. Yet this omnishambles Government thinks its right to give an average £107,000 tax cut for 8,000 millionaires,” he said. This Tory-led Government is comprehensively out of touch with the reality of Britain’s working families.”
Perhaps Duncan Smith needs to have a chat with his fellow government masterminds about how they intend to waste £11 billion in foreign aid, how their salaries and benefits are a major drain on the public purse, and how spending £billions on a ‘war’ can be justified.
So the Duncan Smith madness and the government’s collective delirium continue.