The Labour Party voted against the Tax Credits (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.Despite this united opposition, the government won by 325 votes to 290. These changes introduce a work penalty into the tax credit system and weaken incentives for people to find work or take on more hours – and were not in the Conservative manifesto.
In fact, the prime Minister promised before the election not to cut child tax credit.
According to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies these changes will see over 3 million families lose an average of £1,000 a year. The institute has also confirmed that it is ‘arithmetically impossible’ for the government’s so called ‘National Living Wage’ to make up for these losses.
The Labour Party wants to see a higher wage economy where people are less reliant on tax credits to make ends meet, and action on low pay and high rents which are the real drivers of rising social security spending.
It is deeply regrettable that the government scheduled this vote on the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah, which meant that I was not be able to attend. However, I have and will continue to make my total opposition to these changes known through all other channels available to me.
This week, I will be make my opposition known when I vote for the Labour motion.