470,000 challenge Iain Duncan Smith to live on £53 a week
The Work and Pensions Secretary's attempt to justify the benefits changes he is introducing appeared to backfire when he was challenged on whether he could live on £53 a week. "If I had to, I would," Mr Duncan Smith replied testily, before saying the changes were necessary to ensure that "taxpayers' money was not being misspent".
More than 470,000 people had signed a petition on the influential website Change.org over the last couple of days calling on Mr Duncan Smith to live on £53 a week for a year - equivalent to £7.57 a day, and a 97 per cent reduction on his current income of £1,581.02 a week after tax.
Both Mr Osborne and Downing Street - speaking on behalf of David Cameron - sidestepped questions on whether they could live on £53 a week.