The great French diplomat and politician Tallyrand allegedly said, on hearing of the death of the Turkish Ambassador, “I wonder what he meant by that?”.  Much the same question was being asked when Iain Duncan Smith the DWP Secretary dramatically resigned over the budget.  Whatever his motives it led to a frantic rush to save the Budget and involved the abandonment, for now at least, of cuts to Personal Independence Payments payable to millions of disabled people.  Significantly the change came after a very effective campaign which saw constituent’s emails filling up MP’s inboxes.  The ship was only steadied when the Chancellor came to speak in the debate – an unprecedented step.  At the heart of the issue was the unfairness of cutting benefits for some disabled people while paying for it by cutting Capital Gains Tax for some of the richest.  The Government may have saved the day but now has a £4.4 billion black hole in the Budget which has to be filled somehow.  In the interests of balance I will praise the Chancellor for listening to calls to cut taxes on North Sea oil and gas where the price of oil is crippling the industry.  Both my neighbour Mary Glindon and I spoke in a parliamentary debate just before the budget in a cross party campaign to help the industry.  The Chancellor should get credit for listening.  He probably wished he’d listened more to Iain Duncan Smith.

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