Are Tories planning to cut tax credits?

iain-duncan-smith-workfareAre the Tories really planning to cut tax credits because Iain Duncan Smith thinks struggling families spend them on drugs?

That’s the astonishing claim made by the Daily Telegraph after focussing on a part of Iain Duncan Smith’s speech this week which went unreported elsewhere in the press and was not included in the transcript published by The Spectator.

According to The Telegraph: “Mr Duncan Smith indicated his party is preparing to review tax credits, which are paid to people on low incomes or with children. The system was introduced by Gordon Brown and has been criticised for subsidising low wages. They will cost £28bn this year, and the cost is forecast to rise £35bn by 2018/19.

“He said the cash pushed people above an ‘arbitrary’ poverty line on paper but failed to change their lives, and some ‘unproductive’ people spent the extra money on drink and drugs rather than food for their children.

“’Quite often you’d take a family that had been on drugs or abusing alcohol, much of that money would have been spent in the wrong place and their own families would remain officially over the poverty line but unofficially rooted in poor lives,’ he said.

“’I met many families where the adults are themselves are deeply addicted. Even beyond their abilities, the money that they get often goes in quite negative ways, drugs, alcohol. They don’t mean to harm their families, far from it, but their kids will then have to be raised in an environment which is well below the poverty line. You can’t measure that effect. They then don’t go to school, they don’t eat enough.'”

This followed a diatribe about the system of tax credits, which IDS called poverty plus a pound (he prefers just poverty). In an ominous statement he then went on to say that tax credits had failed and asked us to consider “what more could have been achieved had that money been invested in a more focused way to create lasting improvements to people’s chances… be it higher attainment in schools, better budgeting skills, recovery from addiction, and so on.”

The implication is clear, IDS wants to get rid of tax credits and instead shovel yet more taxpayers cash into the pockets of crooks like G4S in exchange for failing to provide public services.

Of all Iain Duncan Smith messianic rantings yesterday, this is surely the biggest hint of what is to come in the unlikely event that the Tories win the next election. Millions of “hard working families” currently claim working tax credits, people George Osborne once called strivers. Now it seems these parents could find their already meagre incomes are set to shrink even further. And all because IDS has decided that people who are poor must be spending their money on drugs.

Comparing cutting disabled people’s housing benefit to ending slavery was a new low even for the increasingly deluded Iain Duncan Smith. Or at least it seemed to be. Suggesting that low-income parents will have to accept yet more cuts to in-work benefits – already pegged to rise below the rate of inflation – because some of them take drugs is genuinely astonishing. This is what these bastards really think of us. No one on a low income, whether in work or not, is safe from these parasites.

The Void

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