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  1. ITV Report

Iain Duncan Smith attacks 'unfair' budget in first interview since resigning

Former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has attacked the Government's austerity programme, accusing David Cameron and George Osborne of balancing the books on the backs of struggling working people and the vulnerable.

In his first interview since his shock resignation from the cabinet on Friday, Mr Duncan Smith said cuts to welfare for working people had "gone too far" saying the Government risked dividing society with arbitrary cuts.

I am concerned that this government that I want to succeed is not actually able to do the kind of things that it should because it has become too focused on narrowly getting the deficit down without being able to say where that should fall other than simply on those who I think progressively can less afford to have that fall on them.

The truth is yes we need to get the deficit down but we need to make sure we widen the scope of where we look to get that deficit down and not just narrow it down on working age benefits

– Iain Duncan Smith

The former minister also said arguments with Downing Street and the Treasury had left him feeling "isolated" and "detached" with attempted cuts to welfare making him increasingly depressed.

He also suggested Conservative ministers were targeting benefits handed to working age people rather than pensioners because "they don't vote for us".

I think it is in danger of drifting in a direction that divides society rather than unites it, and that I think is unfair.

– Iain Duncan Smith

In an emotional exchange, he told Andrew Marr he had no personal ambition, adding: "If I never go back into government again, I will not cry about that. I came into this government because I cared about welfare reform."

It's painful to resign, I don't want to resign but I'm resigning because I think it's the only way I can do this.

– Iain Duncan Smith

Duncan Smith resigned on Friday evening saying the cuts to disability welfare whilst offering tax cuts to the better off were “a compromise too far”.

Labour's Shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith said: "The Conservative Party is tearing itself apart over an unfair Budget. David Cameron and George Osborne's claim that 'we're all in this together' now lies in tatters.

"No-one will believe Iain Duncan Smith's sudden change of heart. After all this is the man who introduced the Bedroom Tax. But what his comments do reveal is growing anger within the Conservative Party about George Osborne's management of the economy.

"The Chancellor's unfair Budget is falling apart at the seams. George Osborne now needs to urgently clarify whether these cuts to disability benefits will go ahead and, if not, how he will make up for the huge hole in his Budget."

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