I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel absolutely sickened by the Maria Miller saga, and I’m not going to go over rigmarole here; what I do want to consider is one element of the fallout, the hypocrisy of our old favourite Iain Duncan Smith!
Today the BBC reports on IDS telling Andrew Marr that Parliament should do whatever it takes” to stop rows over their expenses “eating away at the credibility of Parliament“; how dare Mr Smith who has stood before his peers and repeatedly lied, preach on eroding the ‘credibility of parliament’?
This is particularly ignoble coming on the same day as IDS announces the people found to be claiming benefits they are not entitled to will face “higher fines and losing their homes“; now I’m not suggesting in any way it is OK to cheat but…how is this different to a MP making false claims?
Currently Ms Miller is not only being allowed to keep the vast majority of money gained from her ‘mistake’, IDS champions her, claiming the media interest to be a ‘witch hunt‘; and yet under his new campaign IDS blame benefit claimants for an increase last year from £3.3 billion to £3.5 in money “lost to fraud and payments made in error“.
Given the extensive range of problems with the whole range of changes made under Welfare Reform from the record number of sanctions to ATOS ‘quitting‘ and DWP staff needing to help Capita catch up on outstanding claims for PIP; I propose it is not unreasonable to surmise that much of this increase is down to payments being made in error? Obviously this is something IDS disagrees with, instead he is happy to decree that any and all such increases, are a result of home owners making fraudulent claims for welfare.
It is the sheer Hypocrisy of this situation I find totally untenable, IDS, Cameron and Co evidently refuse to believe a Tory Politician would lie or cheat; well in case they need a reminder I suggest they ask Lord Hannigfield, Lord Taylor. Jonathan Aitken or Jeffrey Archer if they’re correct!