.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tories squabble over tax credit cuts

The Telegraph reports that George Osborne is facing a Cabinet backlash over his plan to cut state benefits for millions of families, with particular a anxiety amongst Tory MPs that letters announcing the cuts are due to be sent out before Christmas.

The Chancellor’s reform to tax credits will see 3.3  million families lose an average of £1,300 next year.

The paper says that three Cabinet ministers, another senior minister and a number of Conservative advisers have privately expressed grave concerns over the Chancellor’s handling of the reforms.

They have warned that Osborne’s policy is being seen as “penalising” the working poor and may turn into a Poll Tax-style error, undermining years of effort to dispel the image of the Tories as “the nasty party”.

The Telegraph adds that three Cabinet ministers have urged Osborne to make concessions that would soften the blow for claimants:

In particular, they criticised the way the reforms had been handled, singling out the decision to send letters to affected families shortly before Christmas. One Cabinet source said the row was “messy” because the structure of the cuts to tax credits was “creating a lot of cash losers”.

Another senior minister added: “It’s quite right to tackle the deficit and to reform tax credits. We just need to do it in a way that doesn’t feel like people are being penalised.”

Despite the controversy about whether or not the House of Lords is able to vote down these tax credit cuts or not, for many that is just a process issue. The real concern for Tory MPs and of course, for the families themselves, is the sheer insensitivity of sending out letters just before Christmas telling people how much less they will be getting in future.

It is a scenario that even Dickens would not have dared feature in one of his stories.
Dickens? More Trollope, I would have thought.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?