That Camden interview – IDS – less than truthful twice and six statements off the top of his head?

We were sent this video interview with Iain Duncan Smith, The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which was published on 10th March

In this astonishing interview that last only 2.21 minutes, we believe that Duncan Smith was less than truthful twice and made six statements off the top of his head.

This is what he said ….. and, what we believe he really meant.

IDS: “We haven’t actually changed the sanction regime”

We believe what he meant to say was this


“21. Figure 1 provides an outline of how the current system compares with the previous system.”

As can be seen from the table, there has been a marked increase in the severity of sanctions under The Coalition Government of which The Conservatives were the driving force.

Up to 21 October 2012 the maximum length of a JSA sanction was 6 months. Now claimants can be deprived of benefits for up to 3 years for repeat ‘high level’ ‘failures’.

Welfare Reform Act 2012 section 46 sanctions:

Ministers claimed that hardly anyone would be subject to the new 3-year sanctions. However, the number of JSA claimants who had received a 3-year sanction rose to 1,229by 31December 2013. Over half of these (628) are aged 18-24, almost a fifth (219) have a disability, and 37 are lone parents whose youngest child may be as five Briefing-D-Webster-May-2014.pdf

More here from The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

IDS” No one sanctions you if you are not in work” – which is slightly incoherent. We believe what he meant to say was this: No one sanctions you if you are in work but again is this true?….

The in-work regime, which is expected to eventually apply to around one million people, is being trailed as part of Universal Credit, the new type of benefit which is being rolled out across the country.

“Dr Sharon Wright, senior lecturer in public policy in urban studies at Glasgow University, is lead researcher of a team at six universities across the UK which is carrying out a five-year study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council into welfare conditionality.

She said the sanctions system being implemented was “quite shockingly harsh” and pointed to examples of cases of in-work claimants being penalised uncovered during their research.

She said: “We had one interviewee who had an appointment at the Jobcentre, but got called into work. He phoned up the JobCentre to rearrange his appointment, they told him it couldn’t be rearranged and then he was sanctioned because he didn’t go.

“So he was actually working and they took £70 off him because he wasn’t there. The idea behind the system is that it is meant to encourage people to work, but it is actually penalising people who are in work, so it is counter-productive – that is partly because of the rigidity of the system.”


The UC regime has similar lengths of sanction to those of JSA for the various ‘failures’, but there are some critical differences.

“Sanctions are lengthened by being made consecutive, not concurrent.

Under Universal Credit hardship payments become repayable. Given that repayments are made at the rate of 40% of benefit – the same as the amount by which a hardship payment is lower than the benefit – this means that for claimants receiving hardship payments, UC sanctions are in effect 3½ times as long as their nominal length.

All sanctioned UC claimants must also demonstrate ‘compliance’ for 7 days before applying for hardship payments, and must reapply for each 4-week period.

The 80% hardship rate for ‘vulnerable’ claimants is abolished.” (Feb 2016 briefing)

An estimated 55,800 JSA sanctions and 6,800 ESA sanctions were overturned in the 12 months to September 2015 via reviews, re-considerations or appeals.

This is a total of 62,600 cases where the claimant’s payments will have been stopped for weeks or months only to be refunded later.

This figure peaked at 153,600 in the year to March 2014. February 2016 Briefing


Is there data to substantiate these six statements set out below, or is it a case of

Its off the top of my head Gov?”

This is what Duncan Smith said along with our responses

1. IDS”even the people in the Jobcentres say its the right thing to do”

We say: If there is data to prove this statement is based in fact then we would like the DWP to provide this, and we will be asking them to do so.

We also believe The PCS Union would beg to differ as they said this about the pressure to sanction:

“The results of the survey of Jobcentre members in 2014, clearly show that members are put under increasing pressure to make sanctions referrals. Nearly 80% of PCS members reported feeling differently about their job because of the change in conditionality and sanctions policy, and nearly 70% believe that sanctioning does not positively impact on claimants finding employment. In the same survey, 72.8% of members reported an increase in verbal abuse, and 37.9% reported an increase in physical abuse.”

2. IDS”Sanctions are the reasons why we have the highest employment levels than ever in the UK, ever.”

3. IDS”We are actually beginning to run out of people to go back into work – Its been a phenomenal success”

We say: If there is data to prove either of these two statements are factual then we would like The DWP to provide this data, again we will be asking them to do so

Please bare in mind that year on year there should be more people in employment as population numbers are increasing year on year.

4. “It really clarifies the mind.”

If there is data to prove this statements is based in fact then we would like the DWP to provide it and we will be asking them to do so

Last year Psychologist Against Austerity produced this briefing paper on how austerity effects mental health.

They said: “We have identified five ‘Austerity Ailments’, experiences increased by cuts which lead to mental distress:

Increasing fear and mistrust

Increasing humiliation and shame

Increasing Instability and Insecurity

Increasing Isolation and loneliness

Increasing experiences of feeling trapped and powerless.”

5. IDS ” No one sanctions you on the first time”

If there is data to prove this statement is based in fact then we would like The DWP to provide:

What data does DWP hold on pre sanction warning numbers?

How many warning are given to Claimants before a sanction is issued?

How are warning pre sanctioned recorded?

6. IDS”75% of those who have been sanctioned all say it suddenly helped them to focus to get on, 75% of those who have been sanction all say it.”

If there is data to prove this statements is based in fact then we would like the DWP to provide it and we will be asking them to do so

Please leave your polite comments and let us know how sanctions helped you so we can build a dossier to give to Mr Iain Duncan Smith

Finally we will be forwarding article this to Owen Smith, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and we will be making a formal complaint to UK Statistics Authority based on this article.






Filed under Uncategorized

8 responses to “That Camden interview – IDS – less than truthful twice and six statements off the top of his head?

  1. steve themanc

    Ian Duncan Smith lives in a mansion, rent free that he ponces off of his in-laws. What a complete hipocryte.

  2. Pingback: That Camden interview – IDS – less than truthful twice and six statements off the top of his head? | Telling it as it is | Britain Isn't Eating

  3. Dee

    Hard enough for one in-work young person I know even to get a job away from the current zero-hours contract one, God help young people who haven’t managed to even get a zero-hours job and so are forced to depend on benefits. Our family’s experience is that the job centre staff sent a claimant to unsuitable [under-challenging] work experience having refused to allow claimant to arrange their own. Then they lied to the claimant about the duration on offer, as the placement employer was very annoyed with the jobcentre to discover.

  4. allan

    Even if no one is sanctioned ids has dropped money so you cant afford to live because prices of living are going up and up but yet he still reduces payments.

    He blames everybody else but himself

  5. Jason Rutland

    I would like to sanction all your politicians that haven’t done your job and are truly responsible for messing up the economy well you and your greedy friends that pretty much bought the conservatives.
    And stop criminalise people that are struggling to get by ie on low income or having to get by with benefits !!

  6. Yessof

    If sanctions help people “focus” – I would support MP expenses sanctions for those found abusing them. Plus MP wage sanctions for those MP’s not attending Parliament or found to be a lying jackel

  7. Liz Gardiner

    Sanctions and the DWP rules don’t affect me financially as I am over pensionable age. They do, however, affect me as a caring, concerned woman thinking about the young people and those with families who are suffering as a result of these iniquitous rules.
    Very, very few people chose to be unemployed. The rules adopted to remove benefits are not only harsh but beyond common decency and understanding.
    The suffering caused to these people is unacceptable and I condemn IDS, and the government in which he serves, for their complete and utter lack of care and understanding. They should be ashamed of their actions.

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