Members of the public have attacked the way politicians such as Iain Duncan Smith are funded, saying it has led to a ‘sorry story of dependency, and has wasted taxpayer’s money and encouraged fraud’.
‘Expense claims – money taken from the poor and impoverished to top-up the incomes of the highly paid – are an absolute disgrace,’ said plumber Brian Parkin. ‘Fraud and error under the current free-for-all is haemorrhaging millions and the system is wide open to abuse.’
‘I almost feel sorry for politicians,’ added unemployed builder, Lee Ryde. ‘They’re trapped in a system where they find it increasingly difficult to spend their income before the next round is due. It’s a vicious circle.’
But Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has hit back at the comments. ‘Poor people are out of touch with the rich and have no idea what it is like to have serious money problems to worry about. They’re not kept awake at night fretting about low interest rates or wondering how their shares and pensions are doing.’
He added: ‘Having nothing at all can have enormous benefits for the desperately poor in society, and our aim in the Conservative party is to keep it that way.’