Andy McSmith’s Diary: Love costs – IDS imposes a new ‘bedroom tax’ for St Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Benefit tales

Friday, as everyone knows, is St Valentine’s Day, a day for exchanging doe-eyed love messages and looking indulgently upon young lovers. That is unless you work for the nation’s top party pooper, Iain Duncan Smith, whose department has put out an extraordinary statement warning benefit claimants that if they fall in love on Valentine’s Day, they must tell IDS or one of his minions, or risk running foul of the law.

“If you’re a single person claiming benefits and your Valentine’s Day romance leads to something more serious, make sure you inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of any change in circumstances, or you could find yourself being investigated for benefit fraud,” runs the warning message, issued via the DWP press office.

It goes on to quote Christine Caine, DWP fraud manager in the North-east – where chronic unemployment leaves a disproportionately large number of young people dependent…

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