Oops. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith really set himself up on Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday.
John Humphrys (interviewer): Could you survive on £53 a week?
IDC: Well….if I had to I would.
I repeat: oops. Judging by the public reaction to IDC’s comment, one might have thought he yelled “bring it on!” while pumping the air in defiance. A petition on change.org for IDC to prove he could live on that amount had received 184,554 digital signatures when I started writing this and 208,988 by the time I finished (about an hour). All this is particularly poignant when your party says stuff like “we’re all in this together”
It strikes me that April Fool’s Day is an oddly appropriate choice to usher in some of the biggest spending cuts to Britain’s welfare state since its inception. But for all the anti-austerity protests of recent years, these cuts seem surprisingly popular.