IDS prevails in Treasury struggle

Iain Duncan Smith wants to introduce a universal benefit
Iain Duncan Smith wants to introduce a universal benefit

By staff

Iain Duncan Smith has secured agreement from the Treasury to go ahead with his expensive reform of the benefits system, according to a report.

The work and pensions secretary has spent recent weeks in fractious negotiations with chancellor George Osborne in a bid to secure approval for his proposals in the comprehensive spending review.

Now agreement has been reached which will see the introduction of a universal benefit replacing payouts including housing benefit, income support and incapacity benefit, the Times newspaper reported.

It suggested No 11 had allowed the changes on the condition that the money saved in the first year would be used to fund the administrative costs of implementing the change.

Mr Duncan Smith had argued in a recent select committee hearing that without his measures the emergency Budget would be regressive.

"I certainly did not come into this job to see the worst off suffer more, that's the key," he told MPs.

Under the plans, expected to be announced in full at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham next week, workers would be allowed to keep 65% of the benefits for every extra pound they earn.


Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.