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Tax Credits

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:37 pm on 20th October 2015.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Conservative, Rushcliffe 3:37 pm, 20th October 2015

Quite a lot of low-paying employers will realise the effect on the morale of their staff, some of whom will tell them that they are losing their tax credits. I am not naïve and know that this will not mean that nobody loses. Not everyone will be able to do that. The downsides of the change—my hon. Friends on the Front Bench explained the upsides that will affect a lot of these working families—may not be totally eliminated, but there will be fewer problems now if we go ahead with this. I have already said that getting rid of electoral bribes, which most parties have given over the years, always proves to be terribly difficult. I have seen some dreadful things introduced and then nobody has the nerve to vote against them. Perhaps I should not worry. I receive a free bus pass, a free television on which I do not pay a licence, and a winter fuel allowance to save me from winter poverty. I know that I was meant to say to the previous Labour Government, “God bless you, Mr Brown. You are a worthy man, and I shall vote for you from now on.” My political views are more complicated than that. Tax credits were about bumping up income from the Labour Government on the eve of an election.

Several hon. Members rose