Iain Duncan Smith: Shock resignation proves 'Tories are in meltdown', says Labour MP

Iain Duncan Smith reportedly surprised his own party by announcing last night that he is resigning as Minister for Work and Pensions

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Indy Politics

A leading Labour MP has said that Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation is proof that the Government is “in melt down”.

Mr Duncan Smith announced his shock resignation as Department of Work and Pensions Minister last night. He said that the Government’s decision to cut disability benefits while also allowing tax cuts for high earners in this week’s Budget was “not defensible”.

Debbie Abrahams, Shadow Minister for Disabled People, told The Independent: “This is a shambles. David Cameron has blamed Iain Duncan Smith and Iain Duncan Smith has said he doesn’t support his own policies!

“The Government is in melt down. It seems the Tories’ own backbench MPs now recognise that Labour’s long-held concerns about these cruel cuts to disabled people- over £24bn to date have been well founded and that they are a step too far.”

Last week, government plans were unveiled to cut an average of £3,500 a year from disabled people through the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Many campaigners have condemned the move, arguing that the benefits are essential funds for people to live with dignity. 

In Wednesday’s Budget, Chancellor George Osborne also announced a series of tax cuts for high earners, including reducing capital gains tax.

A poll by YouGov found that 70 per cent of members of the British public believe that cuts to disability benefits are “the wrong priority” for the Government. Just 13 per cent of respondents said that the policy is “a good idea”.

However, there has been speculation that Mr Duncan Smith’s resignation could be unrelated to qualms over cuts and is instead linked to a court battle he lost this week for the Department of Work and Pensions to suppress publication of internal reports on the Universal Credit scheme.