The Curmudgeon


Friday, October 14, 2011

Turning Up the Volume

Daveybloke's regrettable Secretary for Welfare Abolition, Iain Duncan Smith, has warned charities not to get any big-societal ideas about helping the poor. The Child Poverty Action Group launched a court action against the Government's cap on housing benefit, which action was accepted as valid and permitted to go to trial. The proceedings took all of a day and CPAG lost the case, so Duncan Smith has been celebrating with some tebbitous bluster about how they'd dashed well better not do it again: "CPAG's challenge to our housing benefit reforms was an ill-judged PR stunt, and amounts to nothing more than a massive waste of taxpayers' money and court time." The mention of ill-judged PR stunts and taxpayers' money is a particularly felicitous touch from a member of the Daveybloke cabinet, collective authors of the Health and Social Care Bill, the pause for pretended revision of the Health and Social Care Bill, the warmed-over and slightly-tinkered-with Health and Social Care Bill, and so forth. Exerting to the full that famously impressive personality of his, Duncan Smith blathered that he hoped CPAG would think twice before being so ridiculous and irresponsible as ever again to resort to law in defence of the undeserving. In the usual tabloid-honoured fashion, he also had a squeal about "the crazy excesses we have seen in recent years of people on benefits living in houses that those in work could not afford". Underlining the weakness of CPAG's case, the charity's chief executive responded with little more than mere facts: for instance, that four-fifths of housing benefit claimants in London are in work, and that the cap will not save money because of the costs of implementing the social cleansing programme behind it.


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