Tory tax credit cut is a warning for Opposition parties on the eve of the Budget

160315OsborneSmirkIt’s bad enough that this cut is going through without proper Parliamentary debate and against what we were told last autumn.

What makes it worse is the insufferable smugness of their attitude – the “fooled you again” smirk on George Osborne’s face.

If the Tories fooled the general public over tax credits, it’s because the media – and Opposition politicians – failed to highlight the legerdemain.

Did the Independent (for example) headline any stories last October with Osborne defeated over tax credit cuts (apart from the £1 billion he’ll have due to the income disregard change)? Not to This Writer’s knowledge.

We found out last month, after Labour, the SNP, all the other opposition parties, and the Upper House all let it pass unchallenged.

That’s not good enough.

Tomorrow (March 16), George Osborne will make his Budget statement.

He is certain to try to slip more such tricks past us; having succeeded once, he’ll feel confident he can pull the same trick again.

Let’s make sure he can’t.

And that means all of us – not just Opposition MPs and national-press journalists (most of whom are now Tory employees anyway), but also all the political bloggers and even concerned citizens, if you think you’ve found something nobody else has seen.

Let’s all get busy and dig out the devils in the details.

MPs have voted to make £1 billion of cuts to tax credits, without holding a parliamentary debate on the subject.

George Osborne said in his autumn statement that he had cancelled cuts to the in-work benefits – but a little-noticed cut to the so-called “income disregard” was quietly left in place.

The change reduces the amount a claimant’s income can increase in a year before their claim is reassessed – from £5,000 to £2,500.

Any low-income worker who earns more than they had expected in a year over the threshold is forced to pay back some or all of their tax credits.

Labour says the £1 billion cuts will make 800,000 more people on low incomes poorer.

MPs voted by 272 to 228 to pass the cuts, with most Labour MPs against and most Conservatives in favour.

The cut was brought through Parliament as a statutory instrument meaning it does not have to go through all the stages of debate – a favourite tactic of the current Government.

While MPs were not allowed to debate the subject this evening, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said last month that the Tories did one thing in public and another in private.

“It’s completely shameful when you consider that 800,000 working people, almost the equivalent of a city the size of Leeds, face losing £300 a week when the Tories are cutting taxes for a wealthy few,” he said.

Source: Government cuts tax credits for 800,000 people without parliamentary debate | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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3 thoughts on “Tory tax credit cut is a warning for Opposition parties on the eve of the Budget

  1. Florence

    I don’t know if this counts as “seeing something”, but I read a piece today from a sick young woman who has been denied ESA on transfer from IB, and is now to be moved from DLA to PIP. She gets no benefit while challenging the ESA decision, and is in danger of losing her home. The DWP have helpfully suggested she gets herself into a homeless hostel, and on reflection that as she is indeed so sick she is bedbound for many days each month, suggested she gets into a DV hostel (womens refuge) “for her own safety”. I’m just speechless.

    It makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. Especially as through the HB changes DV, homeless and supported and assisted living places will also be closing down. It seems Priti Patel has her already published desires to make the UK workers as incentivised as the Dalits in her homeland about to come true. The sick and disabled will live on the pavements, with begging bowls. Like in Somalia and Ethiopia, where my relative saw the morning cleanup crews throwing the corpses of dead children and adults onto lorries after the cold nights, I see the death toll for the most vulnerable racking up. I also see simply no-one giving a flying monkey about it, and Osbornes sick little psycho smirk showing he is actually enjoying his power to inflict this death and misery.

  2. Prefer Tobe Anon

    Not certain if I’m being a bit simplistic but…..
    Osborne mentioned that the stock market is slow then went on to talk about the revolutionary new Savers Scheme because not enough people are saving.

    Two things struck me.
    People aren’t saving because they can’t afford to, if they do participate in the scheme then they will be regarded as ineligible for in-work benefits because they can afford to save.
    The savings from the working poor will boost the stock market as it will be used to gamble with and make even more money for the top 7%.

    We are in this together? – They are in this for the money and we are in the s**t !

  3. Terry Davies

    tax changes for interest of bank accts from April. taxes wont be deducted at source.
    Taxes will be payable at end of the tax year.

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