Why I voted against the government’s Welfare Bill

paula3.jpgVoting 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. 






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  • commented 2015-07-22 18:37:24 +0100
    I think you did absolutely the right thing in voting against an incredibly punitive outcome for working families, many already in poverty. Good to see your focus on doing what you honestly feel is best for your constituency.
  • commented 2015-07-22 11:53:33 +0100
    Thank you for voting against this inhumane and regressive Bill. It is reassuring and heartening to know that my MP is willing to stand up against legislation that will further empoverish some of the poorest in society and increase wealth inequality. I appreciate you voting against your Party in order to make this important stand for your constituents. Please know that it has been noted and appreciated by many of us.

    There has been a powerful media campaign over the past few years to demonise the poor and dehumanise people who claim benefits. But the vast majority of people unfortunate enough to live in poverty are not choosing this life for themselves and their children, and their children certainly have absolutely no choice or influence over their poverty levels. This is an ideological Bill, designed to dissemble the welfare net that our country should be proud of, disguised in rhetoric about austerity.
  • commented 2015-07-21 17:36:26 +0100
    We are both working parents, we don’t get any form of benefits, so as a family we are limited to our two amazing children due to the reality of financial constraints. Why should we therefore subside others to have as many children as they like, without any form of financial impediments, or reality.

    As long as labour continue to want to spend money the country simply doesn’t have and prolong the culture of limitless state funded family benefits regardless of the economic impact, it will remain in opposition, which is a good thing. You talk of benefits as a method of economic growth, it’s not, it doesn’t generate wealth for the country, it simply redistributes it, unfairly until this bill was passed. Your own party (temporary) leadership recognised this.