Why Iain Duncan Smith is right

I used to love IDS when he was leader of the Tory Party. Slightly hapless, vague, lacking direction, uninspiring & ineffectual were words that summed up (probably unfairly) his stewardship of the Tory Party. However, opinions can change.

In recent years IDS has cleverly created a niche of expertise for himself by becoming the Tories equivalent of Labour's Frank Field in becoming an independent minded expert on Social Security and benefits who is able to say the things that their party leaders are not brave enough to say. And so it is today in the latest proposals from IDS.

I note the Tory Party were quick to disown his ideas and said 2they will be looked at but are not currently Party policy", but I think they were wrong to do so.

The IDS plans involve the benefits system actually helping people back to work (rather then telling people to get a job but cutting of their benefits immediately upon employment leaving people high, dry and broke for several weeks until they are paid) whilst also simplifying the whole confused and complicated system.

In my opinion, the proposals could have gone further as I think that the current benefits system encourages people who have never worked to stay on benefits whilst also incentivising having more and more children in order to avoid work.

So well done IDS. Perhaps not such a bad chap after all.


None of the above said...

Slight problem

there's not enough jobs for those people that WANT to work, never mind 'helping' those people that don't want to work into imaginary jobs. And way too many people are in poorly paid jobs they don't want without pensions, sick pay yada yada yada.

So much for the 'economic miracle'

thepoliteer said...

I think 'None of the above' should look a little further than his nose. While it's true that there is currently a shortage of jobs, this will not always be the case.

Finding ways to help people back into work and off benefits is a long term project which needs more than the usual kneejerk "flog 'em back into work' strategies - which I suspect we will get from Cameron once he's in power.

I.D.S's approach has some interesting elements, and should be examined further. His involvement is a little like finding out that your 84 year old Grandmother rides a Harley Davidson in her spare moments... shocking, but in a good way. It's certainly the first time I have found a good word for the 'Quiet man'

Anonymous said...

"None of the above" should not poor scorn on the ideas. There is always a balance to be had between providing a reasonable level of support for those out of work, with the need to encourage those who are able to work to fill the jobs available. If benefits are too high when unemployment is rising then it may make little differance to unmeployment. But in the recovery it can make a differance.
In the 1990s Spain, France and Germany had it wrong. In Spain, unemployment remained above 15% right up to 2000 and beyond. Germnay & France above 10%.
The issue is one of balance and understanding. IDS seems to have absorbed this admirably.

None of the above said...

Well there's been a 'shortage' of jobs ever since I left school in 1984 and also well before that time too. Often a rather large 'shortage' too. And I can't see that changing for years and years to come. Maybe the quiet man should make less noise.

If people had jobs to go into that paid a living wage and with half decent conditions, you might not find they needed much 'helping' at all.

We used to have virtually full employment and people on benefits were not a 'drain'. Until the onset of the economic miracle.

I'm sure Mr Politeer would work full-time for minimum wage, no sick pay, no holidays, no pension and a contract not even worth the paper it was written on.

Man in a Shed said...

IDS is a great example of some one who knows what public service is all about.

He would have been forgiven for a Ted Heath style mega sulk after being back stabbed and having his wife dragged into an expenses smear ( especially now we know what many other MPs were up to ).

But instead he sat down a decided to do his best to make things better for those most disadvantaged in our society.

He swallowed his pride and got on with the hard graft of understanding the issues and putting together the evidence and suggesting solutions ( which are available to all parties, not just the Conservatives ).

I almost finished a post a few weeks ago describing the need for Prophets in politics ( in biblical terms being a prophet was a dangerous business, when delivering unpopular messages the messenger was very much going to get the blame ). Our media system and obsession with swing voters means that such people are suppressed.

As you say he's in many ways a Tory Frank Field. The thing the two men have in common ? Their Christian Faith.

How desperately our country needs more people willing to serve, rather than scheme.

Who would you nominated as a Lib Dem equivalent ?