Before I decide on a choice of Aberlour, Macallan or Glenlivet and perhaps all three (bottles!) the reason IDS has given for his is complete and utter nonsense.
My apologies Iain but I couldn’t find a single malt made in Easterhouse so these will have to do
IDS has always had ‘front’ and a Teflon-coated resilience as the Work & Pensions secretary and the idea of him resigning over the handling of or the policy to cut £4.4 billion in PIP this parliament just doesn’t wash at all.
My immediate speculation, and that’s all it can be, are this resignation is one of two other reasons – his desire for Brexit with even a potential leadership challenge as part of that; and/or the decision a day or so ago when the courts finally made him give up the real information on Universal Credit that he has fought tooth and nail to keep secret.
His resignation letter below is standard political diplomacy and not a Sir Geoffrey Howe resigning speech that killed Thatcher and includes enough repetitions of the caveat “I believe” to see that it is from his own hand and not some SPAD or flunky; though he attempts to paint a self-portrait of that mythical political figure – the caring conservative and even suggests he wanted to hit the welfare benefits of the pensioner yet was stopped (by the cabinet?) despite the pensioners share of welfare benefits rising to 70% by 2020 from 56% in 2000 and from 65% of all welfare benefit spend in 2010.
I am writing this as I am thinking and as social media is ablaze with champagne corks a popping and speculation over who will succeed; whoever does will inherit a God Almighty mess – by that I mean the real figures not the deceitful bullshit and sophistry we have only had from IDS these past 6 years and not just the ESA and PIP catastrophes.
Will this be a time for the Conservatives to say sorry and bury IDS by for example agreeing with the IFS figure that the 4 HB reforms of bedroom tax, benefit cap, LHA and SAR cap which IDS introduced with a view to saving £2 billion per year have actually increased the HB bill in real terms by over £1 billion per year – in summary a £3 billion per year failure.
I doubt it despite the truth in that and despite the fact that a more real UC picture may emerge after the courts decision though of course a sanitised version of the truth, not the whole truth and nothing but the sanitised what we can possibly get away with and /or hide to comply with the court.
IDS despises the European Union and his resignation from his post and from the cabinet allows him to become a very loud and very persistent anti EU voice before 23 June, which will expose the deep divisions in the Conservative Party… and is IDS seeking to be a temporary interim leader attracting the anyone but Boris votes after Cameron resigns?
IDS is so conceited and so much a zealot that he probably believes such a political path exists. I never met or spoke with IDS yet I know a few who have and at length and the one word they all say about him is that he is a zealot and always has been. He is right and the rest are wrong; he does not listen and in fact refuses to listen; he is way beyond confident, cocksure and conceited, he believes his own hype … while choosing to forget the Conservative grassroot party members voted him their worst ever leader in history.
A zealot does not resign over disability benefit cuts and IDS is the biggest zealot there is – this excuse is bullshit.
In the true spirit of the antithesis of friendship I have for the truly incompetent IDS, so much more of an incompetent than the pantomime villain heartless bastard he has as a caricature, I will let this never to be missed zealot have the last word – His phoney as hell resignation letter – Do enjoy people as much as I will the single malts which are pining for me right now!
“I am incredibly proud of the welfare reforms that the government has delivered over the last five years. Those reforms have helped to generate record rates of employment and in particular a substantial reduction in workless households.
As you know, the advancement of social justice was my driving reason for becoming part of your ministerial team and I continue to be grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve. You have appointed good colleagues to my department who I have enjoyed working with. It has been a particular privilege to work with with excellent civil servants and the outstanding Lord Freud and other ministers including my present team, throughout all of my time at the Department of Work and Pensions.
I truly believe that we have made changes that will greatly improve the life chances of the most disadvantaged people in this country and increase their opportunities to thrive. A nation’s commitment to the least advantaged should include the provision of a generous safety-net but it should also include incentive structures and practical assistance programmes to help them live independently of the state. Together, we’ve made enormous strides towards building a system of social security that gets the balance right between state help and self help.
Throughout these years, because of the perilous public finances we inherited from the last Labour administration, difficult cuts have been necessary. I have found some of these cuts easier to justify than others but aware of the economic situation and determined to be a team player I have accepted their necessity.
You are aware that I believe the cuts would have been even fairer to younger families and people of working age if we had been willing to reduce some of the benefits given to better-off pensioners but I have attempted to work within the constraints that you and the chancellor set.
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.
I am unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest.
Too often my team and I have been pressured in the immediate run up to a budget or fiscal event to deliver yet more reductions to the working age benefit bill. There has been too much emphasis on money saving exercises and not enough awareness from the Treasury, in particular, that the government’s vision of a new welfare-to-work system could not be repeatedly salami-sliced.
It is therefore with enormous regret that I have decided to resign. You should be very proud of what this government has done on deficit reduction, corporate competitiveness, education reforms and devolution of power. I hope as the government goes forward you can look again, however, at the balance of the cuts you have insisted upon and wonder if enough has been done to ensure “we are all in this together”.