British work, pensions secretary resigns over disputable budget

LONDON, March 18 (KUNA) — British Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith announced Friday night his resignation from the government of Prime Minister David Cameron amid controversy over the planned cuts in benefits for the disabled people.
In his resignation letter to Cameron, he said he cannot defend the budget cuts proposed by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.
The budget, which was approved by the government two days ago, envisages cutting by more than one billion pound sterling the benefits for the disabled.
Duncan Smith said he has come to believe that “the latest changes to benefits to the disabled and the context in which they’ve been made are a compromise too far.” While these changes are defensible in narrow terms given the continuing deficit, they are not defensible in the way they were placed within a Budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers, he argued.
“The changes “should have instead been part of a wider process to engage others in finding the best way to better focus resources on those most in need,” Smith, a former Tory leader, stressed. “I’m unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self-imposed restraints that, I believe, are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest,” he added. (end) mrn.gb