On Wednesday, our Secretary of State for Welfare will sneak across the Border.

He has agreed to meet with some MSPs behind closed doors before addressing a private sector conference in the capital. His many victims will be absent from both events.

Once viewed as patrician but with well-meaning intent to address poverty and inequality, it's clear now this was just a masquerade, as Iain Duncan Smith is the architect of the biggest assault on the poor in living memory. Whatever credibility he received from his visits to Easterhouse is forgotten. He fronts the Bedroom Tax and the Work Programme – two central parts of a plan to make life tough for people who need the support of welfare.

On April 1, at least 80,000 Scots will either have to move house by downsizing to a non-existent alternative or find up to 25% of their rent from their poverty-level income. Most have no real choice and many will stop paying up at all, with disastrous social consequences for the families involved and big financial consequences for our much-stretched public services. Housing associations and their tenants will not make the guest list to meet the Secretary of State for Welfare, but I expect the private sector Work Programme contractors might be there to receive encouragement and further lashings of public money despite their abject failure to help unemployed people.

The real Work Programme plan is to harass unemployed people with a spike in the number of people receiving no benefits. It's on the back of such misery that savings are made.

We're in the midst of austerity so the poor have to pay just like everyone else. Only that's not true. The top rate of income tax is being cut on April Fool's Day and the new childcare vouchers plan will support families earning up to £249,000. Cutting taxes for the rich and reducing benefits for the poor seems part of the plan.

Meanwhile, a perfect storm is brewing in our most deprived communities. The 1% cap on benefit uprating is really a cut in what is meant to be a minimum income. It will remove £2.5 billion from the pockets of the poorest in Scotland. This translates into stagnant economies, collapsing local businesses and reduced demand. You don't have to be a Nobel Laureate in economics to denounce such a plan – but at least two of them think it's the wrong way to go.

But Iain Duncan Smith is sticking to his guns. All that matters is that people get the message that this Government is tough on welfare. All the myths about scroungers and layabouts are central to this strategy.

Being told you are useless and a drain on the state diminishes your self-esteem and reduces someone's chances of getting out of the system.

IDS really ought to take time out to meet Scotland's Chief Medical Officer and learn about the success of asset-based approaches, building on the skills and competences that people have in order to progress.

There ought to be a law against all this. Actually there is. A recent Appeal Court ruling upheld a claim that making unemployed people work (in Poundland) to receive benefits was unlawful. The Government's response was typically arrogant – an immediate change in the law and much media bluster about how the state was paying people's wages. There was no mention of the free labour, the minimum wage or the shelf-stacking jobs forgone.

Margaret Thatcher would surely be proud of IDS. Or would she? Much alarmed by the Brixton riots, she spent billions on what was called the Community Programme whereby unemployed people got paid to do useful work in the community. At its peak, more than 40,000 jobs were created in Scotland. Now, in similar circumstances, the UK Government has decided to blame people without work, allow private companies to make millions and help wealthy individuals to pay less tax.

In an ideal world, IDS would not be allowed to escape without being called to account by those he parodies and makes impoverished.

An honourable politician would meet the people affected. Failing that, he should go home and think again because it's a miserable and defeatist future that he is pedalling.

My charity colleagues south of the Border think the welfare state is in terminal decline, that political change won't make one iota of difference. We shall see whether such gloomy predictions ring true in Scotland, but until he faces up to the suffering caused by these policies we should make it clear that IDS is most unwelcome here.