Today’s broadsheets lead with one aftereffect of Chancellor Osborne’s Budget: the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith, Minister for Works and Pensions:
Iain Duncan Smith has resigned as work and pensions secretary over cuts to disability benefits, in the most dramatic cabinet departure of David Cameron’s leadership.
In a sign that divisions over Europe have heightened tensions in the Conservatives, the former party leader stormed out of his job, saying he thought the cuts to welfare for disabled people known as personal independence payments (PIP) were a “compromise too far”.
Duncan Smith, who is campaigning to leave the EU in opposition to Downing Street, said he had too often felt under pressure to make huge welfare savings before a budget in a stinging critique of George Osborne’s entire approach to reducing the deficit.
Iain Duncan Smith has resigned from his role as Work and Pensions Secretary complaining of Treasury pressure to make cuts to benefits.In a statement to the media Mr Duncan Smith, known as IDS, said he was “incredibly proud” of his work at the department but said he is “unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self imposed restraints that I believe are…distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest”.
He said he had “rather reluctantly” come to believe “the latest changes to benefits to the disabled and the context in which they’ve been made are compromised too far”.
“I am unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest. Too often my team and I have been pressured in the immediate run up to a budget or fiscal event to deliver yet more reductions to the working age benefit bill.”
Iain Duncan Smith has dramatically resigned from the Government in protest at George Osborne’s proposed cuts to benefits for the disabled.
The former Conservative leader said that plans to cut the benefits paid to the disabled by more than £1 billion were a “compromise too far” and said that welfare for pensioners should be cut instead.
He added that they are “not defensible” when announced alongside a budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers. Mr Duncan Smith also accused the Chancellor of forcing through cuts to welfare for “political” rather than national economic reasons.
Nevertheless, this resignation is a wake-up call to both George Osborne and David Cameron. They need to explain their methods and their motivations, to win the people over to their side and restore a sense of direction to this Government.
Of course, the Opposition Leader cannot let this resignation go without comment:
The Labour leader slammed Mr Osborne’s “record of profound unfairness and economic failure”, claiming the Chancellor had “failed the British People”. He added: “The resignation of Iain Duncan Smith reveals a Government in disarray and a Chancellor who has lost the credibility to manage the economy in the interests of the majority of our people.“The Budget has exposed George Osborne’s record of profound unfairness and economic failure. “Not only must the cuts to support for disabled people be abandoned, but the Government must change economic course.
This resignation is so important that the results of the Summit in Brussels which closed yesterday with a “deal” with Turkey doesn’t get much of a look-in, except in
We can’t stop the migrants: EU says Britain has ‘MORAL DUTY’ to Turkey to accept refugees
THE EU sparked a furious row last night by saying Britain and the rest of the bloc had a “moral duty” to accept all refugees arriving by boat.Christos Stylianides, the EU commissioner in charge of immigration, enraged Eurosceptics by insisting that turning boats full of migrants round and sending them back to Turkey or Libya is “against our EU values.” Mr Stylianides is said to have to become angry when he was asked why the EU has not adopted the Australian system of sending boats full of illegal migrants back to their point of origin. The revelation came as EU leaders threw open the Continent’s doors to Turkey in a deal to tackle the refugee crisis. Talks to start the Turkish accession to EU membership process will now start in days and will eventually give its 77million citizens the right to come to the UK.
It is not just that EU Summit which didn’t get the attention it deserved, an announcement by David Cameron also got a brief look-in only:
The Daily Mail
Fury as Iraq war report ‘faces being delayed until after the EU referendum despite ministers being given it next month’
The publication of the long-awaited Chilcot inquiry is to be delayed until after the EU referendum, it was reported last night.David Cameron’s decision to postpone the report into the Iraq War sparked accusations that he was deliberately deferring controversial announcements. The delay comes despite the fact that ministers will be given the report – expected to condemn senior political figures – next month. Government sources told The Daily Telegraph it was unlikely to be published until after the June 23 vote. The PM had suggested his plans were to publish the report within two weeks of receiving it. […] Former shadow home secretary David Davis said he was seeking a Commons motion demanding Sir John Chilcot’s report was published as soon as possible.
David Cameron is set to postpone publication of the Iraq War inquiry report until after the EU referendum, leading to accusations that he is deliberately postponing controversial announcements. Senior Government sources confirmed that it is likely to be published after the June 23 vote, despite the fact it will be handed to ministers next month. Mr Cameron had previously suggested that he wanted to publish the report within two weeks of receiving it. […] The report, which is expected to heavily criticise senior political figures, had the potential to significantly erode public trust in the political establishment if it came out before the vote. […] Last night David Davis, the former shadow Home secretary, said he was seeking a motion in the House of Commons on April 14 demanding that the Government publishes the Chilcot report as soon as possible, and certainly within the Prime Minister’s promised two weeks. Mr Davis told The Telegraph: “This is a disgraceful piece of media management by the Government. The families of the soldiers who died serving their country in Iraq have already had to accept a terrible sacrifice. “It is beyond appalling that the Government should casually extend their misery further by delaying the publication of the Chilcot report. “The publication of the report in full will at least allow them a degree of closure which has already been delayed for too long. “The proposed delay is both incomprehensible and contemptible.”
And finally, here is an exemplary piece of ‘me too’ politics, with a hefty dose of fear-mongering, by the Welsh First Minister in the
EU referendum: Brexit would spark ‘constitutional crisis’ for UK, warns Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones
“If Wales votes to remain in the UK but the UK votes to leave, there will be a crisis. There will be a constitutional crisis. The UK cannot possibly continue in its present form if England votes to leave and everyone else votes to stay,” the Labour politician said. “If we leave the EU our economy will tank and we might be in a position at some point in the future where the Welsh people are asking which union – the UK or the EU – we should be a member of.”
The comments by readers below that report speak for themselves in strong language – worth reading!