Showdown between the Lords and the Tories over tax credits

Baroness Meacher: Her motion that the Lords should “decline to consider” the plan to cut tax credits will be considered “fatal” by the Conservative Government.

Today’s the day the Lords decide whether to defy the Conservative Government and delay – or even kill – plans to cut tax credits and plunge millions of UK families further into poverty.

They will debate no less than five motions on the Tax Credits (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates)(Amendment) Regulations 2015 – including two declining to consider the statutory instrument, one declining to accept it and one “motion to regret”.

The Conservative Government has said it regards all four as “fatal motions”.

In politics, a fatal motion means only one thing: the death of a proposed new law, pushed off its legislative mortal coil by the votes of MPs and peers in the division lobbies of Parliament.

And that is the fate that some peers are threatening to inflict on the government’s plans to cut more than four billion pounds of tax credits.

The government wants to introduce the cuts not though the traditional route of a Finance Bill but via so-called secondary legislation. This is how most laws are made – technical changes pushed quickly through Parliament within the framework of existing Acts.

Peers will have several possible options.

They could vote to kill the cuts outright by supporting a so-called “fatal motion” tabled by the Lib Dems. This would simply “decline to approve” the government’s plans.

Or they could vote for a motion tabled by the crossbench peer, Lady Meacher. This would delay the tax credit cuts until the government has taken into account an impact analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies “and considered possible mitigating action”.

Or peers could vote for a Labour motion tabled by Lady Hollis. This would delay the cuts while the government introduced transitional measures to protect claimants affected by the changes.

The Tories say that any motion that does not approve the secondary legislation is a fatal motion.

Labour dispute this analysis.

The officials and clerks in the House of Lords… are rather caught in the middle.

They are clear that all the options open to peers on Monday are legitimate from a constitutional point of view. But they equally admit that all the options would have substantial political consequences.

Source: Could ‘fatal’ Lords motion kill tax credit cuts? – BBC News

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5 thoughts on “Showdown between the Lords and the Tories over tax credits

  1. hayfords

    This is from today’s Guardian

    A “fatal motion”, tabled by the Liberal Democrat peer Zahida Manzoor, which would kill the tax credit cuts stone dead. This motion, dubbed in the Lords as the “Farron motion” after the Lib Dem leader, who has forced reluctant party peers to accept it, will fail because Labour is not whipping its peers to support it.

  2. Nick

    David Cameron’s 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 fact

    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

    also these families affected by the tax credit cuts were they aware of the many deaths of the sick and disabled in going through welfare reform and if not why not ?

    It’s very difficult to find sympathy with 3 million people that could be affected by the tax credit cuts where they have not voiced their concern for the sick and disabled that have died in going through welfare reform

    i am sure the readers here would love to get some feedback from a person that will be affected by the tax credit cuts and to why they stayed silent on the deaths of the sick and disabled in going through welfare reform

    i beg to move “As many as are of that opinion say ‘Content’ [supporters say ‘Content’] and of the contrary ‘Not Content’

  3. AndyH

    There are alot of foxs in the hen house (IE peers who want to abolish the lords) so I wonder how many of them are using this as an opportunity to bring down the Lords from within. (Although I don’t care what their motives are – as long as they kill off the damn bill).

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