Could Iain Duncan Smith live on £53 a week?

April 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm (benefits, Disability, Human rights, Jim D, protest, Tory scum)

This petition has now reached over 200,000 signatures:

Iain Duncan Smith: Iain Duncan Smith to live on £53 a week.

This petition calls for Iain Duncan Smith, the current Work and Pensions Secretary, to prove his claim of being able to live on £7.57 a day, or £53 a week.

On Monday’s Today Programme David Bennett, a market trader, said that after his housing benefit had been cut, he lives on £53 per week. The next interviewee was Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who was defending the changes. The interviewer then asked him if he could live on this amount. He replied: “If I had to, I would.”

This petition calls on Iain Duncan Smith to live on this budget for at least one year. This would help realise the conservative party`s current mantra that “We are all in this together”.

This would mean a 97% reduction in his current income, which is £1,581.02 a week or £225 a day after tax* [Source: The Telegraph]

It’s not, perhaps, the most sophisticated response to the Tories’ across-the-board attack on welfare claimants (whilst simultaneously cutting the income tax on the earning £150,000 or more). But it’s bloody effective.

You never know, it might even embarrass Iain Duncan Smith to give it a try…but it would have to be for a year (as the petition demands) for it to be meaningful.


  1. Ian Taylor said,

    I don’t mean to be a pedant, but the report should say that the tax cuts are for those earning over £150,000 a year, not 15K (which would, arguably, have been a progressive move)!

    I’ve already signed this one btw.


  2. Jim Denham said,

    Thanks for the correction, Ian! I shall adjust the text immediately, but leave your comment as a standing rebuke to myself…

  3. ted edwards said,

    Just signed the petition and IDS has no idea nor indeed does compatriots on what it is like to live on benefits.Lets hope he puts his money where his mouth is.I should add that he is that clever he could not even handle being the leader of his party.

  4. Pinkie said,

    Could Iain Duncan Smith live on £53 a week?

    Of course he can’t and he knows it too. He’s got more than that in his wallet, just for walking about money.

  5. bombasticspastic said,

    Iain Drunken-Smith thought when he said he could live on £53 that he could also fall back on his stonking £500+ per week expenses claims!

  6. cjcjc said,

  7. Jim Denham said,

    Much comment has been generated at the Torygraph website. One Anita Bellows gets it right:

    “I am confused. Was the title of the article just changed, and changed again? The man does not get £156 per week, or were DT readers really thinking that he was also paying his rent out of £56.
    The figures are all wrong. All what is left to him after paying rent, utility bills etc is £54 per month, according to the article.”

    What is asked from IDS is to buy food, clothes, use transport etc. with £53 a week as he told us he could do. Too much to ask?

    In other words, the challenge to IDS from David Bennett was to live on £53 *after* rent, utility bills, etc have been paid – exactly what Mr Bennett himself has to do.

    As far as I can see, Bennett made this clear from the start and any confusion has been caused by the Torygraph itself (and, no doubt Central Office).

  8. Duncan Smith: MP Complains Over £53 Challenge | said,

    […] Could Iain Duncan Smith live on £53 a week? […]

  9. By Jason Beattie 71 Comments Iain Duncan Smith claimed £39 breakfast on expenses (that’d leave him £14 for the rest of the week) | said,

    […] Could Iain Duncan Smith live on £53 a week? […]

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