Osborne loses support over plans to impoverish low paid
MORE Tory MPs rebelled against George Osborne’s tax credits cuts yesterday, branding them “a blunt instrument” that have left the Tories in the “wilderness.”
Tory Stephen McPartland led the criticism in a Commons debate on the cuts, saying he had voted against them because he “could not believe the impact of the changes had been understood” by the Chancellor.
Plans to slash the benefit which keeps the low-paid out of poverty were already in disarray after the government tried to sneak through the measure — only for the House of Lords to reject it on Monday.
Mr McPartland joined other backbench Tories in calling for measures to protect low-paid people from the changes, saying money to plug the deficit could be found elsewhere.
“We spend over £700 billion a year as a government and it’s almost as if that if we can’t find this £4.4bn it’s going to be the end of life as we know it, which we all know isn’t going to be the case,” he said.
Treasury ministers looked on in anger as he warned: “If they don’t come forward with mitigating proposals that we find acceptable, we are going to continue to raise the issue.”
Conservative Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb said that he disagreed with the plans and along with Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish urged the Chancellor to look again at the policy. Mr Parish said that many on his side of the House were opposed to it.
The debate, called by veteran Labour MP Frank Field, heaped further embarrassment on the government just one day after David Cameron repeatedly refused to answer questions from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the savage plans.
The Prime Minister has refused to say what will happen now until the Autumn Statement is released next month, leaving workers in limbo.
Mr Field, who chairs the work and pensions committee, congratulated the Lords on exposing the Tory “wheeze” of trying to sneak the major changes through Parliament by using secondary legislation, which doesn’t need a vote.
He called on the government to provide much more data on the effects of the cuts.
“To bring these changes in April 2016 is not acceptable,” he said.