Conference slates Iain Duncan Smith over attack on welfare

“Prejudice and dogma, drip-fed through friendly media, that don’t let facts get in the way”.

That was how Jane Carolan for the NEC described the actions of Iain Duncan Smith in attacking the welfare system, as UNISON’s national delegate conference debated a composite motion on welfare cuts.

She added that “even the dying are being declared fit for work”.

This new system is not about providing a safety net, but about making cuts.

“A commitment to real jobs with real wages” would, she said, be a way of reducing the costs of welfare that UNISON would approve of, together with a scheme to build social housing.

Lilian Macer from Scotland asked: “What sort of a society do we want to live in,” noting that what the motion laid out was “a million miles from Iain Duncan Smith”.

The Westminster government has tried to disguise the cuts as necessary, she explained, but stressed: “They are purely ideological”.

The motion included an analysis of the cuts and set the executive a series of tasks, including to work “with relevant partners, in alliance with other unions, disability, older people, children and families’ organisation and other groups … to build an alternative vision of welfare provision for the 21st century.”