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Tax Credits

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:15 pm on 20th October 2015.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Pensions) 3:15 pm, 20th October 2015

I am going to make some progress.

Every Member of Parliament should look up the online House of Commons paper, which contains a link to the number of tax credit recipients by constituency. Any Members who support the Government’s proposals can see exactly how many of their constituents will be affected by them. We remember Mrs Thatcher saying, back in the day, that there was no alternative. That, of course, was nonsense. We also heard that there was no such thing as society. That sort of behaviour should be a thing of the past. There has to be social cohesion. We have to demonstrate that we want to help people out of poverty, not remove a ladder that would take them out of it.

I know what people in my constituency are saying. They do not like this. It is seen as mean-spirited. It is punishing the poor: ordinary, hard-working folk. There is no excuse for it, and we can stop it. There will be a massive impact on families, and we know that the end result will push families with children into poverty. We hear—and we have heard it in the Chamber today—that many Tory Members have voiced concerns at the impact of the changes. We should say to the Government, “You need to listen to those of us on this side of the House, as well as some of your own voices that are reacting to the impact of what you are doing.”