Iain Duncan Smith: Some people think they are too good for shelf-stacking


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The Independent Online

As Eastleigh Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings faces criticism for saying her child was too good for state school, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has claimed that some people think they are above shelf-stacking.

Last week graduate Cait Reilly won a legal challenge to prove the regulations under which most of the government’s ‘back to work’ schemes are unlawful.

After being taken from her volunteer position at a museum, she was then instructed to work in Poundland.

In response to the news, Iain Duncan Smith said on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show today that they would not be backing down on the back-to-work schemes:

"She was paid jobseeker's allowance by the taxpayer to do this. Most young people love this programme and I am sorry but there are a group of people out there who think they are too good for this kind of stuff."

As IDS has previously stated that “We do not have Work for Your Benefit or Workfare schemes in this country”, many were confused with his assertions.

He then continued, "Let me remind you that [former Tesco chief executive] Terry Leahy started his life stacking shelves."

"The next time somebody goes in - those smart people who say there's something wrong with this - they go into their supermarket, ask themselves this simple question, when they can't find the food they want on the shelves, who is more important - them, the geologist, or the person who stacked the shelves?"

Alas viewers now think IDS believes shelf-stacking is as important as a degree.

Some reactions on Twitter:

@Joannechocolat Iain Duncan Smith -WHY is volunteer work in a museum worth less to the taxpayer than giving free labour to Poundland?

@latentexistence GOTCHA! IDS “She was paid jobseeker’s allowance to do this” DWP "Benefit is not paid to the claimant as remuneration" http://bit.ly/12xjrn4

@panderson1979 I wonder if the next time buildings are swallowed up by landslips Iain Duncan Smith will send in shelf-stackers to survey the land...

@RJCeetoo Condescending toss from Iain Duncan Smith, attempting to obfuscate the actual issue by play to inverse snobbery.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21490542 …

@MediocreDave Imagine having such a low regard for basic human dignity that you think stacking shelves for no money *isn't* beneath people. IDS

@Dru_Marland I've stacked supermarket shelves. And cleaned out sewers. And worked 84 hour weeks. And I still think that IDS and Workfare are bollocks

@secretspartacus via patrickjbutler IDS: shelf-stacking as important as a degree http://gu.com/p/3dpej/tw  < mmm, would your Eastleigh candidate agree, Iain?

@alexandraboneuk Doesn't farming (and putting food on shelves) depend on geology?IDS shelfstacking