More skeletons for IDS / 28 June 2014
If there has been one thing that has been consistent with this government, it has been the single mindedness of it's Minister for Works and Pension, Iain Duncan Smith (IDS).
Once an out of work white collar worker with a wife and children, dependent upon state benefits and the hand outs provided by his wife's family, he has become the antithesis of this. He seems intent on punishing all those who fell into the same poverty trap that had captured him all those years ago, and who haven't been able to escape as he did.
This projection of his own feelings about the humiliation and worthlessness that he must have felt when signing up for his dole every week, is now directed at all of us who are in the same position. It's a common enough phenomenon, people who have been powerlessness, once in a position of power, then often become the abuser of those they once were.
It's obviously not about saving money, this single minded ruthlessness aimed at erradicating those members of society who, due to ill health or impairment, are now labelled 'benefit cheats'. According to latest figures IDS has managed to waste a staggering six billion pounds since coming to office! We don't have access to his figures showing how much he has actually saved the tax payer by his mercyless cull, but my guess is it's nowhere near what he's wasted on ... but let's have a look at what we know he's wasted money on shall we.
The one closest to our hearts and the one that has, according to the government's own figures, resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of disabled people, is the privatisation of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). We know that over 60million pounds has already been paid to ATOS, a French company with fingers in many government pies. This would have seemed a reasonable price to pay by some people, accept that so many disabled people contested the companies wrongfull decision to stop their benefits, and won on appeal, that it has cost an additional 150million pounds. Total cost to the British tax payer so far is in excess of £210million.
Along with this has been his disasterous handling of the Universal Credit Project. To date over 241million pounds has been overspent on the IT aspect of this scheme. A further 90million pounds has been wasted on the purchase of IT equipment that will be obsolete in two years. Total cost to the British tax payer so far exceedes £331million.
And while all this has been going on, the opposition take delight in quoting back his own figures that, far from stopping fraudulant benefit claims, he's allowed over 1.2billion pounds (yes, 1.2 BILLION) to be wasted on over-payments at the DWP due to fraud for three years running (2010-11) (2011-12) (2012-13).
Need we go on? Well, yes we do!
How about the £194m wasted on the Back to Work Scheme for troubled families that helped just 3% of the families’ targeted.
Or the £2.25bn wasted on a Work Programme that was only 10% successful.
Or the £457m wasted on Youth Contract Scheme that achieved a 95% failure rate.
Or the £29m lost from 40,000 Bedroom Tax victims who are exempt due to a loophole he created.
Not forgetting the £150million Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) increased to cover the mess of the Bedroom Tax.
There's more, lots more. But let me end by reminding you of the current total figure of estimated waste that Iain Duncan Smith is responsible for, and then you can wonder, as I do, why is this man still holding down such a powerful position in this government.
To date IDS has managed to waste over £6,221,875,00.00 - That's six billion, two hundred and twenty one million, eight hundred and seventy five thousand pounds of tax payers money!
And if you want any more details just click on this link