Threatened by the Tories, the Lords move to block tax credits cuts anyway

It is perfectly acceptable for the Lords to block a statutory instrument, according to the latest development in the tax credits saga.

Or it isn’t.

It seems to This Writer that the Conservative Government’s posturing, threatening attitude has got the Lords royally riled, so they’re going to keep pushing, just to see whether Osborne’s got the bottle to go through with this – or if he’ll back down like he usually does.

The rest of us should consider this a lesson in how to treat the Conservatives over the course of the current Parliament; threaten them will disobedience and see how far they’ll push the point before giving in.

David Cameron faces a backlash over welfare in the House of Lords after Labour and Liberal Democrat peers tabled motions to block cuts to tax credits.

In a move the prime minister said overstepped their constitutional right to challenge the central financial decision of the Commons, Lib Dem peers said they had tabled a fatal motion that would require the government to start persuading parliament to endorse £4.4bn tax credits cuts starting next April.

The Labour backbencher Baroness Hollis tabled a motion that withholds endorsement for the cuts until the government produces a scheme that protects all existing tax credit claimants for at least three years. A third motion may also be tabled by cross bencher Baroness Meacher, which may also delay the cuts.

With only 249 Conservative peers in an 808 strong upper house, Cameron faces the real prospect of defeat on one of the votes, as long as the cross benchers, who are inclined to respect the limits of the powers of the Lords, decide not to swing behind the government on a point of constitutional principle.

It is traditionally understood that the unelected peers in the House of Lords should not revise the major financial decisions of the Commons. But Labour claims the measure was not in the Conservative manifesto, and that statutory instrument – the method George Osborne, the chancellor, has chosen to implement the cuts – has been challenged in the past.

Cameron was challenged by Jeremy Corbyn during prime minister’s questions to admit he had broken a solemn promise to voters in the general election that he had no plans to cut tax credits.

The prime minister responded by recalling his promise to cut £12bn from the welfare bill at the election, and said he was “delighted” that the changes had been passed by MPs on Tuesday night. Labour MPs said his use of the word “delight” may come back to haunt him.

Source: Peers in House of Lords move to block £4.4bn cuts to tax credits | Money | The Guardian

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16 thoughts on “Threatened by the Tories, the Lords move to block tax credits cuts anyway

  1. Nick

    Baroness Hollis is right to table this motion as the these tax credit cuts were not in the conservative manifesto

    It is a pity however that she and the other lords did not table any motion to protect the lives of the sick and disabled in going through welfare reform of which the death rate is very high and is to be investigated by the UN at this time

    The lords role is to make sure the government of the day protects the lives of it’s people and that the government has stated before being elected it’s remit for the term ahead and that the political parties don’t get in to power on a lie as you would see in some other countries like Egypt for example back in 2011 when the Muslim Brotherhood got into power on a false set of promises and had to be as we all know overthrown

    i should add that 12 billion pounds of cuts were noted and on the table which should have sent alarm bells ringing for anyone in receipt of any type of benefit to not vote for the conservatives

    David Camerons intervention that tax credit cuts were not part of the 12 billion pounds of cuts was a lie and should have been seen as such and anyone educated would have understood that

    Anyone on benefits who voted for the conservatives were a fool and now they have to come to terms with the consequences which will severely impact their lives and that of their families over the coming years

    1. AndyH

      “i should add that 12 billion pounds of cuts were noted and on the table which should have sent alarm bells ringing for anyone in receipt of any type of benefit to not vote for the conservatives” I do wonder how many people concluded they were okay as they weren’t claiming anything fraudently and/or were hard-working (like that woman on Question Time). It is alarming how turkeys keep voting for Christmas.

  2. Joanna

    What the heck is going on Mike I am confused!! Are the the lords going to grow a pair or what? First we are told that someone is going to do a fatal motion, then we hear the lords are scurrying like scared rabbits, now they are maybe going to do something?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s a confusing situation. Maybe the Lords don’t have any right to do anything of the sort. Maybe they’ll cause a constitutional crisis. Maybe the Tories are posturing and will have to back down. I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know.

  3. Bookworm

    I cannot believe in the 21st century that a modern state with control over millions of lives is run like this. I hope to wake up from this nightmare world soon.

  4. Mr.Angry

    His picture says it all”arrogance” I thought all pork should display a sell by date. An excuse for a human.

  5. gfranklinpercival

    There is no British Constitution, therefore no Constitutional crisis is possible. David Ceausescu should not rely on his faux first degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, all Arts concerning which he and his colleagues have been so sniffy.

      1. gfranklinpercival

        I studied it to A-level, together with the US one in the dim and distant. Nebulous is the best word to describe ours, Bother Bagehot and his mystery of the monarchy. About as mysterious as the Kray Twins.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m not naïve at all. Look at the coverage – I’m saying it all seems very much ‘up in the air’ at the moment.
      And it seems Mrs Meacher is not backing down but is set to table a motion.

  6. Nick

    Alan West, Baron West of Spithead he is without doubt the best lord a sea lord Admiral a james bond type of lord

    at least when he speaks you can believe it and is true what the lords needs is someone like Naomie Harris (miss money-penny)so that you can be sure that the lords always turn up and don’t drop of to sleep that’s what you need

    it will be for David Natzler to say on what the position is David Natzler is the Clerk of the House of Commons, the principal constitutional adviser to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, and adviser on all its procedure and business.

  7. Thomas

    The Tories will make things more and more unpleasant for more and more people until the voters chuck them out.

  8. mrmarcpc

    The Lords growing a backbone, that’s a first, we’ll wait and see to see if they do and do oppose Davey boy and his cronies, I doubt it but hey, who knows!

Comments are closed.