Voting against the wishes of my own party was not something I envisaged myself doing when I was elected as MP for Dewsbury 11 weeks ago. This was an incredibly difficult decision and not one that was taken lightly. The Dewsbury constituency has pockets of high levels of deprivation and child poverty and ultimately I had to make the choice to stand up for the people I was elected to represent. To abstain would have been letting many of my constituents down.
Tax Credits are in the main an ‘in work’ benefit. They were introduced by the last Labour government and have been proven to improve the lives of millions of families.
The Government are proposing multiple measures to cut tax credits, amongst them to limit child tax credits to two children only. Child Tax Credits as the title suggests are intended for the child and the costs incurred for raising that child. A child does not choose when to be born so why should a third or fourth child suffer as a result.
George Osborne has appealed to, in his words, ‘progressive’ Labour MPs to vote with the government on the Welfare Bill. I however do not see anything progressive about taking away from low paid working families at the same time as cutting taxes for large corporations.
I agree that we need to bring down the deficit and national debt. However I don’t agree that it is a fair or responsible to transfer the nation’s debt onto that of a low paid household. It also doesn’t make economic sense when trying to grow an economy, that working people have less money to spend in it.