London, Mar. 22 (ANI): A former Conservative leader has claimed that Margaret Thatcher would not have survived as Prime Minister, had former Labour chancellor Denis Healey not paved way for 1976 bailout.
Iain Duncan-Smith has said that Healey, who negotiated with the International Monetary Fund in 1976, deserves credit for the economic achievements of the Thatcher government.
"You have to remember it was Denis Healey who did most of the serious hard work, the heavy lifting, before Thatcher came in. Had she come in without Healey's work in the IMF, I don't think she'd have lasted two years. She would have been out in 1983," The Scotsman quoted Duncan-Smith, as saying.
During Prime Minister Jim Callaghan's regime, he was forced to saw him go 'cap in hand' to the IMF for a loan after sterling tumbled to a record low against the US dollar, Duncan-Smith claimed.
"Britain's position by 1978-9 was appalling - we were just disappearing as a nation. It simply was not possible to go on any longer," he said.
Duncan-Smith, who stood down from the Tory leadership after losing a vote of confidence in 2003, claims that some of today's social ills were a legacy of the Thatcher era.
"While I'm not going to point the finger and say the changes made in the Eighties were wrong, we didn't have any real sense of where this might go. Big social reforms should have taken place then, and they never did," he said.
Duncan-Smith also criticized Thatcher's council house sell-off policy, which was considered as one of her greatest achievements.
"Nobody really thought about what happens if you allow only the most broken families to exist on housing estates. You create a sort of ghetto in which the children who grow up there repeat what they see around them," he said. (ANI)