West Ham MP Lyn Brown knows Newham would be hit hard by tax credit cuts

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- Credit: Archant

The government decision to cut tax credits have once again been in the news over the past week. This time because the House of Lords got involved and voted to delay to tax credit cuts until the government come forward with protections for low income families for at least three years.

If these cuts do eventually happen they will hit Newham hard. Over 22,000 of our working families will be affected and they stand to lose on average £1,300 a year

The government did not respond well to the defeat.

They are now threatening the House of Lords with revenge, or rather “reform”. But the truth is that the government got caught out.

Usually, big issues to implement the Budget are put into finance bills. These are subjected to votes, debates and real scrutiny in the House of Commons.


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However, because some Tory MPs aren’t in favour of cutting tax credits, the government knew there was likely to be a rebellion and they were likely to be defeated.

So it decided to avoid all the messy democracy stuff in the Commons and instead cut tax credits by voting it through in a very small committee called a statutory instrument to avoid scrutiny and defeat.

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The government wrongly believed the House of Lords would not vote against it as it was a financial matter but The Lords had other ideas. The Lords decided that they had the right to vote against the government’s cuts because a statutory instrument does not have the status of a finance bill, it has not been discussed by the whole Commons and many of the government’s own backbench MPs had doubts about the cuts.

The Tories call themselves the party of the working people and yet tax credits are an everyday necessity for low paid families. More from Lyn

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