Emma has united with Labour MPs to oppose the Tories’ plans to cut tax credits for working families, a move which it has been warned will cost some households £1,300 a year. The cuts, announced in George Osborne’s Budget earlier this year, slash the support made available to working people on low incomes.
Tax credits were introduced by the last Labour government as a way of creating incentives to work by making sure people in work always earned a decent wage. Tax credits are especially helpful for people working part-time, like single parents, who would otherwise not be able to make ends meet. The Tories’ plans would mean that instead of having incentives to work, these people would face a work penalty.
Nearly two thirds of families in Shields receive some form of tax credits – including 3,800 working families with children. Last month Emma warned in the Shields Gazette that this could be one of the most damaging changes the new Tory Government makes. She has also challenged the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Chancellor George Osborne to justify this policy in Parliament.
Emma joined Labour’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury Seema Malhotra MP in Parliament to show her opposition to the cuts, and to encourage people in Shields to sign Labour’s “Stop the Tax Credit Cut” petition. The petition can be found here.
The Tories were able to force through the tax credit cuts through a vote in Parliament last month. But the cuts are not due to take effect until April 2016, and Labour MPs are determined to force the Government to back down before then.
The cuts have been criticised by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, and even some Tory MPs decided to vote against the policy.
“Next time the Tories claim to be a party for working people, they will have to explain why they took over £1,000 from millions of working families across the country. These cuts will make it much harder for people to earn a living and do right by their families – the people who work every hour God sends but who have suffered through years of stagnant wages and falling living standards under this Government.”
“The people who will lose out from this policy are exactly the people who our Government should be helping. They are the people Labour speaks up for, and that’s why we’re calling on the Chancellor to realise his mistake and change his mind so that working people don’t suffer this cruel blow.”