Welsh Conservative MP Guto Bebb’s warning that tax credit changes are “eye-wateringly painful to those affected” has drawn fire from the Tories former Coalition Partners the Liberal Democrats.
Aberconwy MP Mr Bebb sounded the alarm about UK Government plans which could see families lose up to £1,000 a year.
“While the introduction of a national living wage was rightly lauded, the changes to tax credits have been somewhat under-scrutinised. The changes are both eye-wateringly painful to those affected, but also reverse a key policy platform of the last five years, namely making work pay
“Come April there will be some real anger and frustration out there amongst the very people we should be supporting.”Well is that nice of him ?
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that three million families could lose £1,000 a year, with 13 million losing on average £240.
The think tank’s director responded to last month’s Budget, saying:
“Unequivocally, tax credit recipients in work will be made worse off by the measures in the Budget on average.
Which prompted a response from the LibDems eager to pit thier past behind them.
North Wales Lib Dem AM Aled Roberts said in a statement:
“Guto Bebb seems completely oblivious of the fact that the reason these immoral cuts to tax credits never happened over the last five years is that Liberal Democrats were in Government, blocking attempt after attempt by the Tories to slash them. Now the Conservatives have free rein in Downing Street, we’re seeing their true colours as they implement billions of welfare cuts with no regard for the consequences.
“Guto may be complaining now about the effects of cutting tax credits, but he voted in favour of them in parliament – unlike the Liberal Democrats who opposed these damaging cuts which will disproportionately affect the working age poor.”
You got to admire the two's Chutzpah in trying to gain some sort of moral highground.
Mr Bebb responded to the criticism by saying that Mr Roberts was a “good man” but “clearly there is an election in the offing.”
“Aled is a good man and that press release stinks of Liberal Democrat desperation rather than Aled... I don’t think he would try and kick below the belt in that manner.So in order to defend the government from the LIbDems attack Mr Bebb seems to be defending a policy that he admits to be uncomfortable with.
“The big difference between the welfare reform changes of the last parliament and this parliament was that in the last parliament it was all based upon the need to make work pay. And a big concern which Aled should share with me rather than trying to score cheap political points is that there is a slight reversal in the [tax credit] reduction rates which means that people will be losing more as they work more.
“So this is not really an issue about welfare cuts, if Aled understood what’s going on... This is an issue about making sure that work pays.
“For the first time we are making changes which are diluting slightly the effort made to ensure that work always pays.”
If I remember rightly, the only Liberal who took a great interest in welfare reform was [former Work and Pensions minister] Steve Webb when he defended the bedroom tax to the hilt.”
Whilst Aled Roberts whose Party was the Bag carriers for the Tories in the last election are trying to claim that they held of such cuts in the last Parliament despite the obvious criticism that they actually helped to start the Austerity Programme Log rolling.'