Cameron praise for Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith has done more than anyone else in British politics to transform the welfare debate, the Prime Minister insisted today.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was praised in the Commons today by Prime Minister David Cameron.

David Cameron gave his support to the under-fire Work and Pensions Secretary, who was forced by Labour to attend the Commons yesterday to face further criticism of his department's attempts to simplify the benefits system.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves accused Mr Duncan Smith of being "in denial" over his handling of Universal Credit, which has encountered delays and has already seen £40.1 million written off on IT costs.

Asked if he still had confidence in Mr Duncan Smith, Mr Cameron told MPs during Prime Minister's Questions: " I think (Mr Duncan Smith) has probably done more than anyone else in British politics to transform the debate about welfare.

"That is actually what is happening because of the dedication he has put in to the issue.

"We see fewer people out of work, we see the number of work-less households at the lowest since records began and he's introducing a system that of course includes the benefit cap that Labour voted against, the household benefit cap that Labour voted against, which is making work pay and we should be proud of that work."

Labour's Dave Watts (St Helens North) had asked Mr Cameron: "Given the fact that (Mr Duncan Smith) was left alone on his benches when he made his statement on Universal Credit, have you still got confidence in him and have you got confidence in the universal benefit changes?"