The Work and Pensions Secretary was accused of “living in a different world” after the Mirror uncovered his taste for the morning feast
Iain Duncan Smith’s claim he could live on £53 a week fell apart last night after evidence emerged of a £39 breakfast he tried to put on expenses.
The Work and Pensions Secretary was accused of “living in a different world” after the Mirror uncovered his taste for the morning blow-out which would leave just £14 to see him through the rest of the week.
The Cabinet minister claims he knows what it’s like to live on a low income and has dismissed a challenge from a 370,000-strong petition for him to prove it.
But Mr Duncan Smith – who has ushered in the hated Bedroom Tax – made a claim on his Commons expenses for a £193 hotel stay in a hotel, including a breakfast for £39.
The receipt, submitted to the Parliamentary authorities when he was an opposition MP, show he also claimed for a mini bar bill and, on one occasion, a £9 cocktail.
The claims were rejected by Commons authorities.
The Daily Mirror can also reveal Mr Duncan Smith has yet to visit a food bank since becoming Work and Pensions Secretary in May 2010 – despite his claim to know what it is like on the breadline.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said:
“Everyone, including a man who spends £39 on one breakfast, would struggle to live on £53 a week.
“Iain Duncan Smith can bluster all he likes, but he is living in a different world to millions who have to live on a pittance thanks to his policies.”
Mr Duncan Smith sparked fury by telling a County Durham market trader he could live on £53 “if I had to.”
His comments came as a report by independent think tank the New Policy Institute said the government’s benefit cuts this week will hit 1.2 million families already living in poverty.
A spokeswoman for IDS admitted his £39 breakfast claim last night, saying:
“His office submitted the claim but it wasn’t accepted.”