A timely reminder of the warnings about Osborne’s cuts from the spending review last autumn.
Conservative MP for Stevenage, Stephen McPartland, has conscientiously boycotted a meeting with a treasury minister David Gaulke, after he discovered that tax credits will be cut, despite assurances to the contrary from the Government.
McPartland did some research, he asked the House of Commons Library for statistical information and found that it calls into question the prime minister’s promise that child tax credits were “not going to fall”.
McPartland, who is one of the two Conservatives that voted against tax credit cuts in September, says that information from the Commons Library reveals that 830,000 families would see their child tax credit support cut in 2015/16 because of measures proposed in the summer budget.
He said the current policy is: “Completely unacceptable and destroys the government’s final defence that planned cuts do not apply to child tax credits.”
He said: “I am grateful to the House of Commons Library for providing me with these statistics, which sadly prove that many working families will see their Child Tax Credits cut. In fact, the example below clearly demonstrates that the family will currently receive 87% of their maximum Child Tax Credit award. However, this will be cut to 51% in April, when the planned changes take effect, which is unacceptable.”
He told the Telegraph: “I am boycotting the meeting and the media are not invited, as he [Mr Gauke] does not want to talk about the cuts to child tax credits I have uncovered.
“I just think it’s inappropriate that a Treasury minister is coming to Stevenage to talk about giving money away in tax credits to businesses when as a member of the same government I’m trying to stop the disastrous impact of the tax credit changes are going to have.”
Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra, responded: “It is simply astounding that David Cameron and George Osborne’s failure to address concerns around their proposed tax credit cuts means one of their own MPs has had to protest in this way.”
Gordon Brown – who was the designer of tax credits when he was Chancellor – spoke at a meeting with the Child Poverty Action Group in central London today. He said that the tax-credit cuts are “totally counter to British Values” and warned child poverty would hit a 50-year high if the reforms are not abandoned in full.
He pointed out that the cuts will undermine the work ethic that the Tories value so much, and act as a disincentive for people with families wanting to work. He also said that the cuts will mean that there is “less compassion for children in our country which is surely one of the most important features of a civilised society.”
He concluded that the tax credits cuts “anti-work, anti-family, anti-children, anti-fairness, anti-women, and in my opinion anti-British”.
This post was written for Welfare Weekly, which is a socially responsible and ethical news provider, specialising in social welfare related news and opinion.