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Tax Credits

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:54 pm on 20th October 2015.

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Photo of Clive Efford Clive Efford Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) 5:54 pm, 20th October 2015

Absolutely.

If I were to accuse people of lying, Mr Deputy Speaker, you would rightly rule me out of order, but the people out there will have to make up their own minds. When the Justice Secretary went on to Martha Kearney’s programme, he was specifically asked what the Government would do on tax credits, and he said, “No, we’re going to freeze them for two years.” I do not know what the definition of a lie is, but I know that people outside the House will make up their own minds—although we cannot use that language in here.

We know the Conservatives have lost the argument. This started at the autumn statement when the Chancellor said, “Britain deserves a pay increase, and Britain is going to get a pay increase”, but Government Members did not know when they cheered him that he was going to cut tax credits and make people worse off. Even the increase in the national minimum wage—it is not a national living wage, it is a Tory living wage—will be wiped out for those on it by the cut to tax credits.

I say to those who are upset about these proposals: it is not good enough just to have a chat in private with the Chancellor or the Prime Minister. This is where they represent their constituents—here in the House of Commons—and if they do not agree with what their Front-Bench team are telling them to do, they should join us in the Lobby tonight to vote against what the Government are doing to people on tax credits.