Liz Kendall says she supports Labour position of not opposing George Osborne's tax credit cuts

The leadership contender broke from her three competitors

Click to follow

One of Labour’s leadership candidates has endorsed a decision by the party’s interim leader not to oppose cuts to tax credits included in the Budget.

Liz Kendall said Harriet Harman’s position on the cuts was right and that Labour had to “change as a party” to win the trust of the electorate.

“I think Harriet was right to say that we have to provide a credible alternative.  You said to us, we don’t trust you on the money, we don’t trust you on welfare reform,” Ms Kendall told BBC News.

“If we carry on making the same arguments as we have over the last five years we’ll get the same results.

“I want to support what Harriet said, we have to listen to have people have said to us, that they didn’t trust us, and we have to change as a party.”

Ms Harman, who is the interim leader, announced that Labour would not vote against the measures on tax credits included in George Osborne’s budget, delivered last week.

Three of the four candidates to lead the party however said they disagreed with her stance and that tax credits should not be cut.

Ms Kendall, who is widely perceived as coming from the moderate or right wing of the party, warned that “parents who are on tax credits will have to make difficult decisions about how many kids they can have and how many kids they can afford”.

She however said that the cuts should be supported by a “real living wage”.

Her stance appears to have changed since Friday, when she tweeted that she would "oppose the Tory attack on tax credits".


Yveete Cooper told the same BBC News hustings event: “I don’t think it’s the right thing to do to cuts tax credits because they make people better off in work.”

Jeremy Corbyn said: “The budget last week is brutal, anti-young, and anti- the poorest in Britain. I’ll oppose these changes.”

Andy Burnham explained his stance: “I’m opposing these changes to tax credits in the Budget because these were a Labour initiative. The IFS say it’s a disincentive to work.”

The Chancellor announced that he would reduce the income threshold for tax credits, an effective cut, and them to two children per household for future claimants.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank says a rise in the minimum wage planned by Mr Osborne would not compensate for the cuts, and that the overall effect would be to make those affected up to £1,000 worse off a year.

The results of the Labour leadership contest will be announced a special conference in September.