Iain Duncan Smith has reportedly demanded that those in receipt of benefits be removed from the electoral register, according to a letter leaked to the press today.
The Work and Pensions Secretary justified his request by arguing that it is unfair that people not currently paying into the system, either through working or by being high net wealth individuals, should be allowed to have a say in how public money is spent.
His letter to the Prime Minister went on to suggest that withdrawing the right to vote in this way, would provide a “much needed incentive for the workshy, ill and disabled to find work”, and for those in work to stay “in work and off benefits”. The letter also questioned whether those under the age of 25, who tend to be “more prone to idealism”, ought to be permitted to vote, albeit with a possible exception “for members of the Young Conservatives.”
There is speculation in Westminster that the timing of this letter is related to the upcoming referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU, and a possible snap general election that some are predicting to take place thereafter. In this context, barring voters who are the least likely to vote for ‘Brexit’ or for the Conservative Party, may be seen by some as a useful measure.
A DWP spokeswoman refused to comment directly on the leaked letter, but told reporters: “Iain Duncan Smith believes that in a perfect world everybody would be able to enjoy a full suite of human rights, but with rights come responsibilities, and some rights should only be granted to those who have paid-in.”