This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

UK Minister Asked To Make Good On Welfare Pledge

By DANICA KIRKA

LONDON (AP) â¿¿ A British government minister is being asked to put his money where his mouth is.

Opponents of a raft of welfare changes that took effect this week want Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to make good on a claim that he could live on 53 pounds ($80) a week â¿¿ the amount one welfare recipient said he has left after paying for housing and heat.

Asked on national radio Monday whether he could get by on so little, Duncan Smith replied: "If I had to, I would."

By late Tuesday, some 300,000 people had signed a petition urging him to prove it.

That would mean living on 7.57 pounds ($11.43) a day in London, one of the most expensive cities in the world. It would also reflect a huge comedown â¿¿ a 97 percent cut in his government minister's salary.

Duncan Smith defended himself, telling a local newspaper that he'd been unemployed twice and knew what it was like "to live on the breadline."

"This is a complete stunt which distracts attention from the welfare reforms, which are much more important and which I have been working hard to get done," he was quoted as saying by the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian.

The Conservative-led government's welfare reforms include changes in disability payments, below-inflation increases to benefits and, eventually, the replacement of a patchwork of housing, unemployment and parental benefits with one payment called the Universal Credit.

Prime Minister David Cameron has argued that the changes are needed to save money and make welfare more fair, but the tens of thousands of signatures garnered within 24 hours of Duncan Smith's comments underscored the anger over the cuts and worry about their human impact.

"You would have to be really tight," 28-year-old Amy Rowland said outside a London grocery store about the 53 pounds a week budget. "You would have to constantly be thinking all the time, constantly watching your step."

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,050.51 -75.61 -0.42%
S&P 500 2,115.34 -5.45 -0.26%
NASDAQ 5,093.4210 -4.5550 -0.09%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs