Iain Duncan Smith on the undeserving poor

In an interview for Newsnight yesterday (9/6/11) Iain Duncan Smith said “I have never used the language of the deserving or undeserving poor”.

A quick google search brought up this BBC link from November 2010, quoting Tim Montgomerie, a close advisor of Iain Duncan Smith as saying this below, with a simple deduction from the BBC Columnist, Chris Bowlby, following it:

Yet his moral agenda is clear. “I think the best sort of language of welfare… says that if you do the right thing, we will support you,” he says.

But if you don’t, this implies, you will not be supported.

via BBC News – The deserving or undeserving poor?.

Duncan Smith ought to be careful with his words if he doesn’t want to be misunderstood.

It seems (from the same article) that this philosophy has worked its way into government policy, despite Iain Duncan Smith’s dislike of the phrase ‘undeserving poor’

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3 thoughts on “Iain Duncan Smith on the undeserving poor”

  1. I was fishing around looking for quotations on the ‘undeserving poor’ for an essay. I don’t think you have read the BBC piece closely enough. The paragraph preceding the one you cite reads:

    “Influential Conservative commentator Tim Montgomerie worked closely with Iain Duncan Smith on developing what has become today’s government welfare policy. He dislikes phrases like “undeserving poor” as linked to “historical injustices”.

    So it was in fact Montgomerie, and not IDS, that spoke those words.

  2. Fair comment – it does appear to be Montgomerie’s words not IDS’s (I’ve amended the post above to reflect). But it seems that this principle has worked it’s way into IDS policy as Montgomerie was part of developing it.

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