Tory cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has caused controversy by saying the unemployed should “get on a bus” to look for jobs.
Just days after his government announced massive cuts to the public sector that will remove a further £7 billion from the benefits budget and cause up to half a million jobs, the Work and Pensions Secretary claims that there are jobs available.
His remarks echo those made by Norman Tebbit in 1981, when he suggested that workless should get on their bikes. The then Employment Secretary, Tebbit was an extreme right winger in the Thatcher mould and his remarks were seen as proof of the callous nature of the Conservative party,
Now Ian Duncan Smith takes on the same mantle with his uncaring and patronising remarks. As Len McCluskey of the Unite union, said: “It is clear that the Tory nasty party has never gone away.”
And a spokesperson for David Cameron said that the Prime Minister believed that Mr Duncan Smith was making a “very fair point”.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Douglas Alexander said: “Iain Duncan Smith still doesn’t seem to understand that to move people from welfare into work requires there to be work available. The Conservatives are cutting jobs, cutting help for childcare, cutting working tax credit that makes work pay and even cutting support for buses.”
Unemployment will rise because of the Tory spending review that cuts faster and deeper than is required. But it seems there is no compassion for those who will suffer most from their slash and burn economics.
So much for “we are all in this together”. Smith’s remarks make clear that this is the same old Tory Party making the same ideological cuts and leaving the poorest in society to deal with the fall out.
Plus ca change …