Move over, Ms Bennett.
Alf is promoting someone else to take over the job of Social Development Minister.
Not himself (although he reckons he would make a fair fist of it).
No. He would like to ship in Britain’s Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith.
This Duncan Smith feller has just announced (see here) that British parents will only be allowed to have two children before they face curbs on their benefits.
The Work and Pensions Secretary took aim at the ‘madness’ of taxpayers subsiding poorer people to have ever-bigger families.
He said for too long money had been spent trapping people on state handouts, as he set out how the government hopes to save £10billion in savings from the welfare budget by 2016.
Good stuff, eh?
As he so rightly pointed out, people in work make decisions about having children based on their finances and those on benefits should do the same.
‘Where you see the clustering of the large families is really down at the very lowest incomes, those on significant levels of welfare, and those on the very top incomes.
‘In other words, the problem for those who are paying the taxes, paying the bills – they make the decisions about their lives, even if they sometimes would like to maybe have extra children, they make decisions,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
‘Can there not be a limit to the fact that really you need to remember you need to cut your cloth in accordance with what capabilities and what finances you have?’
Someone seems to have suggested the number of families he was referring to was ‘vanishingly small’.
Not so, he said – there were ‘large numbers of them’.
‘This is madness. It is madness also for the taxpayer,’ he added. Limits on benefits would only target welfare claimants having children in future, rather than existing families.
But he added: ‘My view is that if you did this we would start it for those who begin to have more than, say, two children.’
The Daily Mail – someone there is as sharp as the proverbial tack – noted that the idea of the state attempting to curtail child numbers is likely to prove controversial.
And the wimpish Liberal Democrats have made clear this is not government policy, but was ‘just Tory kite-flying’.
Maybe it is.
And Alf would like to see the same kite flown here.
Then he would like to see it turned into hard policy.