Tax Credits (Working Families)

Part of Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:21 pm on 7th July 2015.

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Photo of Gerald Kaufman Gerald Kaufman Father of the House of Commons 5:21 pm, 7th July 2015

No, I am not going to give way to the hon. Lady, unless of course she has an intervention provided for her by her Whips like the rest of her colleagues who have intervened so far.

Let us be clear about this: working-age households with the lowest incomes lost the most, as a proportion of their income, in the previous Parliament. In working-age households, the incomes of those with children have been hit hardest by the Government’s tax and benefit changes. Families with children have been hit the hardest of all. Working families with children lost up to £2,000 a year, which is double the average loss of £1,100. Cuts to tax credits far outweigh the increases in the personal allowance over the period. The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, in its state of the nation report for last year, said:

“We have come to the reluctant conclusion that without radical changes to the tax and benefit system to boost the incomes of poor families, there is no realistic hope of the statutory child poverty targets being met in 2020.”

There will be radical changes tomorrow, but they will not be radical changes to help the people who live in my constituency. They are good, decent and hard-working people when they get the chance of a job, rather than being unemployed. There will be nothing in the Budget for them. The Government do not care, but we shall remember.