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Iain Duncan Smith resigns over disability cuts

Iain Duncan Smith announced his resignation on Friday 18th March. 

His full resignation letter is available to read at: 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-35848891

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform said of the resignation:

"The resignation of Iain Duncan Smith is the best news for social justice in the United Kingdom since 2010. The Department for Work and Pensions has led the most vicious attack on disability rights in living memory. Cuts in various disability benefits, housing benefits and damaging changes to assessment and employment services have caused untold misery and unnecessary deaths. These cuts were combined with severe cuts to local government and social care services. This has meant that over the past six years disabled people have been the number one target for Government cuts. The Centre for Welfare Reform has published numerous reports on this problem yet the Government, until now, has denied the reality of the situation.

Duncan Smith's resignation letter reveals what all insiders knew; the attack on disabled people was not a personal mission by the former Secretary of State but was instead an inevitable result of Government policy. Over the past six years cuts in Government spending have been combined with the desire to protect the interests of the better-off and swing voters. People and families living in poverty and, in particular, sick and disabled people, have been made the scapegoats for economic problems not of their making.

Austerity has been presented as an economic necessity. This resignation reveals austerity for what it is: a political and ideological choice. Now is the ideal time for campaigners and politicians opposed to austerity to unite. We must calculate the cumulative impact of the cuts on disabled people and others and campaign to reverse these cuts. Even more importantly, we must build better political and constitutional mechanisms to make it harder for politicians to blame others for their own mistakes. The Centre for Welfare Reform will continue to develop solutions that improve the welfare state and make it work better for each and everyone of us."

Publications by the Centre for Welfare Reform on the cuts are available on the right hand side.