Iain Duncan Smith benefit claims: your say

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A CONSERVATIVE politician has provoked public ire with claims he could survive on £53 a week.

A petition calling for work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to prove his claim — made in a BBC radio interview — has won overwhelming support.

The MP is behind controversial reforms coming into place this month which will see some people on weekly incomes of just over £50.

Mr Duncan Smith’s after-tax weekly income, meanwhile, is approximately £1,600.

Paul Dewar, a software engineer from Shawlands, believes the comment takes the Conservatives back in time.

The 46-year-old said: “This smacks of the Tory rhetoric of the 80s when the party wreaked havoc in Scotland. The welfare reforms will have a big impact and comments like this belittle that.

“Mr Duncan Smith should be ashamed of himself. As to whether he should spend time living on the breadline, it’s a moot point and will never happen.

“Most high-ranking Tory MPs are multi-millionaires and have no idea what life is like for the average person.”

Kimberly Barker (33) and Graham Carlin (34), from Thornliebank, believe Iain Duncan Smith needs to let his actions do the talking.

Miss Barker said: “I see people struggle with living on that paltry income every single day – I’d like to see him try.”

Mr Carlin added: “He has no idea: that barely pays for shopping, let alone any bills.”

Alistair Matheson (69) thinks the MP’s comments are ridiculous.

“He couldn’t cope. He is completely out of touch with the working class.

“Most politicians are from a completely different background so are incapable of understanding the lives of normal people.”

Classroom assistant Helen Moore (43) shopping with son Lewis (9) said: “He would never do it — his lifestyle is far removed from reality”.

However, Alan Chalmers is more understanding of the politician’s comments.

The 62-year-old consultant from Eastwood commented: “He was undoubtedly caught off guard a bit. I’m not sure that is a prevailing attitude”.