I am voting against the government on the Welfare Bill tonight because I believe it will increase child poverty.
We should be proud of the fact the last Labour government took 800,000 children out of poverty – but the approach of this Bill goes in the opposite direction. We cannot stay neutral on that.
We introduced tax credits to fill the gap between wages and the cost of living. Osborne’s proposals do nothing to close that gap, whilst taking away the vital lifeline tax credits provided.
Research by Savills shows that the lower benefit cap would make all of London and most of Southern England uninhabitable for families – based on a 3-bed properties at market rent.
Disabled people were hardest hit by welfare cuts in the last Parliament. Reducing ESA rates to JSA levels will send more disabled people into poverty at a time when poverty in disabled households has hit record highs.
Freezing working age benefits for four years will mean more homelessness, more people using food banks, more child poverty and more misery. This Bill is the unspeakable in attacking the vulnerable. It is indefensible.
George Osborne’s Budget found money for giveaways on corporation tax and inheritance tax. We cannot abstain on a programme that gives tax breaks to the rich and poverty to the least well off. We must challenge this narrative clearly and boldly, from the outset of this Parliament.
That is why I will be voting against the government.
If you agree, please join the 25,000 people who’ve signed Jeremy’s petition against the cuts to Child Tax Credit.