Over the last few weeks I have heard from dozens of constituents who are scared about what will happen if the Tory cuts are brought in as planned.
The Tory government claim that they stand for working people, but the majority of families receiving tax credits are in work. Even with a higher minimum wage, experts say that Tory changes will make the poorest fifth of households around £1,400 worse off each year. Families don’t know how they will cope with the cuts in Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits.
I also believe that by limiting Child Tax Credit to the first two children, there is a danger of implying that some children matter more than others. Every child matters.
The interim Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, said that she didn’t want MPs to oppose the Welfare Reform and Work Bill that would bring these changes in. I just couldn’t agree to that.
With nearly 60 other Labour MPs, I tabled a ‘reasoned amendment’ to the Bill in an attempt to stop the cuts.
This is what it said:
That this House declines to give a Second Reading to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, notwithstanding its potentially useful provisions on apprenticeships, because the Bill would have the effect of ignoring the plight of children in low income working households, removing the concept of child poverty from the statute book, increasing the number of children, especially those from large families, living in poverty, worsening work incentives for people whose incomes are below average and reducing the incomes of sick and disabled people.
Faced with our opposition, Harriet has now tabled an amendment criticising the Bill. But I still don’t think it goes far enough. When the Bill comes before Parliament again next week, I will continue to oppose plans which I believe will hit working families who are just trying to do their best for their children.
Bishop Auckland MP says she does not believe welfare payments caused recession. ITV News - Tuesday 21st July
BBC Radio 4 - Today Monday 22nd July
Labour rebels say tax credit cuts will take £300m from the North East Economy. Evening Chronicle
Labour Leader faces rebellion The Independent
Labour MP tables motion to reject welfare bill without leader's consent. The Guardian
Labour Party faces Commons vote divide over welfare. BBC News
Labour drops plans to support George Osborne's benefit cuts after MPs outcry. Telegraph
Tory Welfare Bill faces Labour Opposition after Harriet Harman caves to pressure; but sticks to abstaining plan. Huffington Post
Harriet Harman will now let Labour MPs take a stand against Tories' £12bn of welfare cuts. Mirror
The Waugh Zone. Huffington Post