CORNWALL TORY MPS VOTE FOR TAX CREDIT CUTS
25 October 2015
On Monday, 20 October 2015, the Commons debated a non-binding Labour motion: “this House calls on the Government to reverse its decision to cut tax credits”. The debate begins at Hansard column 845 and the vote at column 923.
The debate arose from the concerns that the Tory government’s changes to welfare and tax credits make around 3 million families worse off. I wrote about this in the posts Robbing the working poor and Assaulting poverty or the poor.
In the vote on the Labour motion Sarah Newton was a teller for the noes and the other five Cornwall Tory MPs voted against the Labour motion.
This is a repeat of the vote from Cornwall MPs last month to approve the regulations for the tax credit changes: see Hansard 15 September 2015. The debate begins at column 964, the vote is at column 989. Sarah Newton was a teller for the ayes and the other five Tory MPs for Cornwall voted for the regulations.
At prime minister’s questions on 21 October David Cameron said he was “delighted” – yes, that’s the very word he used – that the tax credit cuts and other changes had been approved by the Commons (Hansard 21 October 2015 column 948).
Are the Cornwall Tory MPs delighted too? Read the comments of Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay) and Derek Thomas (St Ives) extracts of which I have put below; do read the whole of what they said.
On 22 October 2015 Steve Double wrote on his blog : “I have been working behind the scenes to ask the Government to do something to ease the impact of these cuts. I have met with the Chancellor George Osborne and have written to the Prime Minister… I want to make clear that I support the principle of reducing tax credits but believe the severity of what is proposed needs to be addressed. I will continue to work towards a different solution, a solution that softens the blow that has come relatively swiftly.”
Protestors against the cuts gave Derek Thomas a petition. The Cornishman reports on 28 July 2015:
“Mr Thomas said he would work to alleviate the plight of anyone suffering hardship as a result of the cuts…
‘I completely agree that the Government needs to strike the right balance when reforming welfare. There is a need to reduce welfare spending but we must be careful that people do not experience unacceptable (and unintended) levels of hardship.
‘I will work hard to help people who find themselves in this situation and I have offered to hold a regular drop-in surgery in the Changing Room so that people can get help when needed.’ ”
I am not clear what the other four MPs think on the issue.
The Commons will look at the tax credit changes yet again on 29 October with a motion calling for mitigation of the effect on low paid workers and their families. It will be interesting to see how the six vote. The issue will be before the House of Lords on 26 October. Signatories to a letter from members calling for change so that working families do not experience “major overall losses” include Tim Thornton, bishop of Truro, and Robin Teverson. The prime minister and chancellor insist the tax credit cuts will not be changed at all. We’ll see.
Added 26 October 2015
Very difficult findings for the government on the effects of its tax credit cuts from research group Policy in practice