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Tax Credits

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 2:23 pm on 20th October 2015.

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 2:23 pm, 20th October 2015

My hon. Friend makes a powerful point and indicates through her own story how this anti-aspiration measure will hit families that are working hard not just for themselves, but to give their children a chance in the future. As they continue to struggle, these cuts will impact on those children, and it is projected that 200,000 more children will be moved into poverty.

I am conscious that many Members want to speak, so in conclusion I will say that this measure is set to hit the poorest the hardest. The Prime Minister is fond of saying that he supports those who work hard and do the right thing. His Conservative election manifesto stated:

“The British character is renewed every day by the millions who work hard, raise their families and care for those who need help, do the right thing and make this country what it is.”

He also said:

“We are fixing the economy so that everyone feels the benefit”,

but at the moment that could not be further from the truth. Far from being the party of the common ground or of workers, this move shows that the Government are no longer interested even in knowing how families are set to be hit by the choices they make. This decision is not just poor politics but poor economics, and families are concerned about what the impact will be as they struggle with paying the rent or their mortgage, and with putting food on the table at a time when food bank use continues to rise. The problem of low pay in the UK persists, and changes to tax credits are about to make things much worse. With 6 million people not earning enough to cover the basic costs of living, tackling in-work poverty is crucial, but we should not do that by making matters worse and hitting those who need help the most.

The Government have chosen to introduce these changes without even a transition plan, and when cross-Benchers and bishops start to express concern in the other place, we hear reports that No. 10 will threaten to suspend the other place if Members table and win a fatal motion. There is a chance today for every Member of the House to do the right thing and stand up for their constituents, by putting families in their constituency first and their party second. I urge Conservative Members to vote with us in the Aye Lobby today.