Mr Redwood’s intervention during the debate on the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill, 8 Jan

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Will the Secretary of State confirm that inflation can be particularly tough on people on low incomes who face small increases? Will he reassure people in the country that the Government and the future Governor of the Bank of England will be dedicated to getting inflation down, so that the value of benefits is not eroded more?

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr Iain Duncan Smith): Exactly. Mortgage rates are a critical component of what a household spends each year. Under Opposition plans, if interest rates had to rise because of their messy borrowing and spending, every 1% would cost another £1,000 on a typical mortgage. What have also done as a coalition, which we should be proud of and on which our coalition partners were very keen, is raise the tax threshold. That is taking more than 2 million people out of tax—people who were paying tax under the previous Government. That is serious help and an improvement of £165 a week for the average family.


  1. Geoff Stanfield
    January 9, 2013

    So the answer is “no” particularly for those without a mortgage.

  2. Phil P
    January 10, 2013

    Yeah thats a “no” if you work a fall time job earn between £20,000 – £30,000 pa
    your screwed you will have nothing but stupidly high bills, still pay same tax council and income, recivce less benifits, and have nothing to your name other then the contents of your home if you own it, our great goverment current and past cannot even guarante a home to leaving members of our armed forces.
    we have turned into a country of greed and those paying the price are those that where not greedy in the first place nothing being put in place his to help those that need and deserve. really am gutted the way things have gone what a great country gone bad just to line a few pockets.

  3. Narrow Shoulders
    January 10, 2013

    That is a particularly short-sighted answer from the Secretary of State. It is highly unlikely that those on the benefits discussed will have a mortgage.

    Suggest that government get their heads from their behinds and actually see what is going on in the country.

  4. Barbara
    January 10, 2013

    I don’t agree with the way the benefit cuts have been devised, yes we must have control on benefits that’s sensible, but these figures just do not add up. Many people in work will be worse off, many single mothers, either widows or divorced; I know several and they have expressed concerns to whether they will carry on working when the new rules come in. As for pensioners, which have been mentioned, for cuts in the next government, they are already so poor almost on starving point. If they are expected to take cuts many will simply die. Is this what the next government wants?
    I don’t object to rich pensioners not having the winter fuel allowance, it could be attached to income tax where if you do have a rich pensioner its taken back in tax, its a simple way of doing things, and the set up is already there. Many pensioners were not able to provide for a personal private pension, their earnings were so poor. Even now the most poor pensioners live on less than £10,000 per year, and still pay Council Tax or part rent; they also pay for dental treatment, and glasses, they don’t live free as some assume. Yet if you receive income support you do get most things for free.
    Even now, diabetics, many elderly, are now having to buy glucose testing strips as they are not now provided on prescription, @ £25.90 for 50, they are an expensive item to purchase out of miserly state pensions. It appears those with the least and those who have paid all their lives are being hit hard; but we don’t hear any MP speak out about this in parliament. We are not all ‘in this together’ at all, its simply not true.

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