LISTEN: Iain Duncan Smith On Being A 'Hate Figure'
Wednesday 13th August 2014
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has told LBC he has no regrets about his reforms and that he accepts he is a hate figure to some parts of society.
"I believe that I have to do these things and I have to change the welfare system," Iain Duncan Smith told LBC's Julia Hartley-Brewer when questioned about how it feels to be subject of so much vitriol.
"If the welfare system was so fantastic and successful before, why when I came into office did we have something in the order of five million people sitting on out work benefits?
"We have a disability benefit, which we are trying to reform now, which meant that the vast majority, over 70%, never after their first assessment were ever seen by anybody ever again. We had a million people parked on incapacity benefit for ten years, no one saw them, no doctors, no-one came to check whether they were worse or if they were better.
"This is not a system that was helping anybody.
"I recognise passions run high, I don't normally respond to this kind of thing but all I would say is 'look, it doesn't help things to take the view that nothing must change and the only answer is to spend more money' because that's not what the majority of the British public believe, the majority of the British piblic believe that welfare reform is necessary and the honest truth is we do the level best at every point to make sure those in difficulty receive the support and care and financial support they need.
"This is not an easy process."