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First, let me say that I do not think many people disagree with the analysis that has been made about tax credits. The question is: will the Government’s approach and the timing of their reduction solve the problem and avoid the difficulties that have been identified?
Let me deal with the three arguments put forward by Kwasi Kwarteng, the first of which was that Government credibility is at stake. In a democracy, it is not just the credibility of the Government that is important, but the fairness of the policies they are undertaking. They might argue that they are dealing with the deficit and taking tough action, and that those are good things, but those affected must also feel that they are being treated fairly. I do not believe there is fairness in this policy, because it does affect those people at the lower wage end of the economy. As has been said, we are talking about the strivers in society—the people who want to make a contribution and yet find themselves undermined.