Duncan Smith attacks key Thatcherite policy
Monday 23 March 2009
The "right to buy" introduced by Margaret Thatcher has left thousands of families trapped in ghetto estates, the former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has warned.
He said Mrs Thatcher's government failed to foresee the social consequences of the flagship reform, which allowed council tenants to buy their homes, and failed to bring in important social reforms. He said the totemic Conservative policy of the 1980s left the worst estates dominated by "the most broken families".
He told the think-tank magazine Fabian Review: "Nobody really thought about what happens if you allow only the most broken families to exist on housing estates. You create a sort of ghetto in which the children who grow up there repeat what they see around them."
He added: "While I'm not going to point the finger and say the changes made in the 1980s were wrong, we didn't have any real sense of where this might go and what needed to happen. Big social reforms should have taken place then, and they never did.
"We forgot that, while the economy was moving on, a society itself was not really ready for this. Swathes of the population got left behind in the process. The gap between the bottom socio-economic group and the rest started to grow, and it's grown ever since. Under Labour it's grown almost faster in some senses."
Mr Duncan Smith, whose Centre for Social Justice think-tank has played a central role in developing David Cameron's social policy, has condemned the degeneration of many areas into sink estates.
He said Ken Clarke, the shadow Business Secretary, was "wrong" to oppose tax breaks for married couples, and praised the former Labour chancellor Denis Healey for carrying out important policy reforms after calling in the International Monetary Fund in the late 1970s.
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 SAG Awards: Fake applause track interrupts Reese Witherspoon
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...
£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...
£15000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading supplie...