What a pleasant surprise!
A Conservative MP has used her maiden speech in the House of Commons to lambast George Osborne for planning to penalise low-paid workers with cuts to tax credits.
In a pointed address, Heidi Allen said the cuts fail David Cameron’s “family test” and are driven by the chancellor’s mistaken decision to run an overall budget surplus.
Allen, who replaced Andrew Lansley as Tory MP for Cambridgeshire South in May, was heard in silence as she tore into the government over its tax credit plans.
She said she decided to enter parliament after she feared that Britain was on the verge of a break up during the 2011 London riots, and accused the government of naivete in claiming low-paid workers could easily earn more by working extra hours.
The MP also challenged ministers’ claims that workers will not lose out if all tax and benefit changes are considered over the lifetime of this parliament. “People on the breadline cannot wait for the parliament to pass along. For many, every day living is hand-to-mouth living.
“Madam deputy speaker, I suspect you and I could weather such a transition period. We could pull our belts in. But many of the families affected by these proposed changes do not have this luxury. Choosing whether to eat or heat is not a luxury … Conservatives pride themselves on living within their means, of cutting their cloth. But what if there is no cloth left to cut?”
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