Cameron told us all six times: No matter what the changes, tax credit cuts WILL make people poorer

This was one of those cases in which failure to answer a question was an answer: David Cameron has effectively told us that his henchman George Osborne’s tax credit cuts for three million people will harm their household finances, no matter how he says he’ll “soften the blow”.

And, thanks to the clever decision of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, he repeated that answer no less than five times, in order to really hammer the message home.

And what was that message?

“Conservatives will harm the finances of the poorest working households, no matter what. They will do it, not because it is necessary (it isn’t) but because they want to.”

You see, cutting £1,300 from the income of three million households isn’t saving money – it’s removing £3.9 billion from the UK economy.

That money would have entered the economy at almost the best point for it to do the economy the most good – passing through more transactions than any other money (apart from benefit money) before returning to the government as tax.

So the economy will shrink as a result of this move. Perhaps Cameron and Osborne are hoping that it won’t make much of a difference if the economy is growing faster, creating enough profit to offset the shrinkage, when the hammer falls.

Considering the most recent figures, that seems a hopelessly optimistic forecast.

“David Cameron refused six times under questioning from the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to say whether people would be left worse off by cuts to tax credits after the Treasury revises the proposals.

Corbyn used every opportunity at prime minister’s questions to ask Cameron whether 3 million people would still lose money after the chancellor has looked at ways to soften the blow of the cuts.

The Treasury was forced to look again at the plans after the House of Lords exploited the lack of a Tory majority in the second chamber to delay the plans until there was better compensation for workers who could lose an average of £1,300 a year.

Responding to Corbyn, Cameron complained that the tax credit plans were defeated by Labour and other opposition peers in a “new alliance of the unelected and unelectable”.

But Corbyn dismissed his outrage about the House of Lords overriding the will of the Commons, saying: “This is not a constitutional crisis. This is a crisis for 3 million people.”

Source: Cameron refuses to say whether tax credits plan will leave people worse off | Politics | The Guardian

Oh, and let’s kill off another nonsense story. You know when Cameron and the other Tories say, “We are committed to the vision of a high-pay, low-tax, lower welfare economy”?

They mean “high pay, low tax” for those who are already rich.

That leaves “lower welfare” for you. Their plan to cut tax credits proves it.

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10 thoughts on “Cameron told us all six times: No matter what the changes, tax credit cuts WILL make people poorer

  1. hayfords

    I saw the original PMQs item and replayed it again just now. The PM gave the answer that the changes would be announced in the autumn statement. I would imagine that the final changes after the Lords motion have not yet been finalised. It was then pointless of Corbyn to keep asking the same question.

    If you were to ask me that question, I would say that of course some people will be worse off. I am expecting Osborne to rearrange the changes to achieve the same result by spreading the losses slightly across the groups involved. When these types of changes are made to raise wages and reduce welfare it is going to be a problem for people.

    It is not possible to wait for wages to rise suddenly and then reduce the tax credits as it won’t happen. This is an attempt to increase pressure in employers. The current system has been responsible for employers being able to pay low wages in the expectation that tax credits will make up the difference. It has changed from an election bribe by Brown to a millstone around the budget.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The point you are trying to avoid is that Cameron did everything he could to avoid admitting that anybody would be worse off at all. This policy has been a disaster for the Conservatives ever since he started lying about it on television in the run-up to the election, if not from its original conception. but he’s still trying to spin it. That’s why Corbyn kept repeating the question – to show that Cameron was absolutely not going to give a straight answer because that would compromise him.

      Your claims about the origins of tax credits are a long way off the mark. Under the Tory government of 1979-1997, wages had been depressed and when Labour took over they had reached a point where working people were being driven into debt. The Tories having scrapped all the once-available methods of restoring pay to ‘living wage’ levels, Labour introduced tax credits as a means of ensuring the workforce remained viable.

      Personally, I don’t like tax credits. I think employers have seized on them as a way to avoid paying the workforce properly – but until proper mechanisms for restoring the balance of payments are restored, so that executives are not paid hundreds of times as much as their employees while those employees have to rely on in-work benefits, they are the best option among a bad lot.

      1. hayfords

        It is obvious that some people will be worse off as a result of the changes. I would doubt that Cameron knows who the groups are at present or how worse off they will be under the changes. If he had said that some people would be worse off then Corbyn would just have asked who they were and by how much; both questions he would not be able to answer. It was better to say wait for the autumn statement.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        It would have been better to admit that some people will be worse-off and then say we’ll find out who they’ll be in the Autumn Statement.
        But Cameron did what he did, and the situation is as I described it in the article.

    2. Barry Davies

      It is a shame that Cameron failed to answer the question that he had been asked, nothing new there though his normal answered are that it is the party opposite to blame for everything that is wrong in the nation, as if the last government never existed. There needs to be a change in the constitution which states the Prime Minister must answer the questions asked, not the ones he would have liked to have been asked.

  2. AndyH

    Cameron has appointed more peers in 5 years than Maggie appointed in 11. He can’t get on his high horse about a chamber he claims to oppose.

  3. NMac

    Cameron admitted the allegation by omission. It was absolutely right of Jeremy Corbyn to keep pressing the PR con-man on this matter, it shows Cameron up for the shallow nasty uncaring and corrupt character he is.

  4. shaunt

    Dear Hayfords,
    The problem with your remove the Tax Credits and let the market resolve the difference between the wage employers offer to potential and existing employees and what is necessary for those employees to eat and house themselves is the near 2 million people held as a reservoir to drive down wages. Or to put it another way, held as a counterweight to tip the balance of supply and demand in the favour of employers. Note the Govenor of the Bank of England, Mr Carney, stated that if unemployment fulls below 6.7% the Bank will raise the Inter-Bank lender rate. This would raise the cost of mortgages and credit through higher repayments and through the expectation of further interest rate rises etc. Also note that by employment I mean a wage paid at or above a living wage by an employer (not government) and not someone made to work the Job Seekers Allowance rate.

  5. John Costello

    There is only one reason why the Working Tax Credits bill has risen so alarmingly – successive governments have been unable or unwilling to tackle the problem of bad employers.

    Both David Cameron and George Osborne have pledged to ‘get tough’ with employers – does anyone take these claims seriously?

    John Costello
    Activist for ‘We Are Shadows’

Comments are closed.