‘TORY MPs could lose their seats at the next General Election if they support George Osborne’s tax credit cuts,’ said Seema Malhotra MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
She added yesterday: ‘These MPs face a clear choice on Tuesday – they can either join the many families and charities speaking out about these unfair cuts or vote to give thousands in their constituency a cut in household income of an average of £1,300.
‘Hard working families who are set to be affected will be watching. George Osborne and David Cameron have tried to spin and deceive the public that these cuts won’t hurt working people and their families. It’s now clearer than ever that this is not true, and it’s time for Cameron to tell the truth.’
Malhotra’s statement followed the publication yesterday by the House of Commons Library of an analysis for tomorrow’s debate showing that the Tories damaging tax credit cuts will hit many thousands of working class families across the country.
Malhotra added: ‘The numbers affected are so large, that these cuts could cost 71 Tory MPs their seats in the next General Election. These 71 MPs, including 26 new MPs in marginal seats, have more families losing tax credits than was their majority in May.’
The figures were released ahead of a Labour Opposition Day Debate tomorrow, which will call for the Tories to end the work penalty and halt their plans to cut tax credits for ordinary working people. The House of Commons Library has estimated that 3.2 million families who depend on tax credits to make ends meet will be on average £1,300 a year worse off, with some losing up to £3,000 from their family income, if the tax credits cuts are not reversed.
Rachel Reeves, the former shadow chief secretary to the Treasury argued that the least the Tories might consider, if Osborne refuses to bend, is a two-year delay to help people reap the rewards of a higher minimum wage, and to give time for a proper assessment of the cost to affected families.
New Labour leader Corbyn said at last Wednesday’s prime minister’s questions that ‘the government is taking away the opportunities and limiting the life chances of hundreds of thousands of poor and middle-income children in this country’.
Ex-Labour leader Neil Kinnock told the Independent: ‘Failure to maintain working tax credits could bring an early departure for David William Donald Cameron. Let’s hope that provokes a rapid swerve away from this cruel policy, just like the poll tax. The well-being of families demands that.’
The Treasury and Downing Street are insisting that they will not budge and will press ahead with their plan to slash tax credits from next April. Under the government’s plans, the earnings level above which tax credits are gradually withdrawn will be lowered from £6,420 to £3,850, and the rate at which the benefit is lost as pay rises will be accelerated.