David Cameron refuses to answer Jeremy Corbyn's question about tax credit cuts six times

The PM would not say whether his new policy would still make people poorer or not

Jon Stone
Wednesday 28 October 2015 13:51
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Cameron is asked about tax credits 6 times by Corbyn

David Cameron has refused to confirm whether his new tax credit policy will still leave people worse off despite a pledge to limit its damage to people on low incomes.

The Government announced a partial U-turn on its planned tax credit cuts earlier this week after it was defeated in a vote in the House of Lords.

George Osborne told MPs that he would “lessen the impact” of tax credit cuts on families, but that they would still go ahead.

But at Prime Minister’s Questions Mr Cameron was asked six times by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn whether the policy would still leave people worse off when it was implemented in April.

“Can he now guarantee to the House and the wider country that nobody will be worse off next year as a result of cuts to Working Tax Credit?” Mr Corbyn asked.

Mr Cameron replied that the policy would be announced at the Autumn Statement by the Chancellor.

“What I can guarantee is that we remain committed to the vision of a high pay, lower tax, lower welfare economy and we believe the way to make sure that everyone is better off is to keep growing our economy, keep inflation low, keep cutting people’s taxes and to introduce the national living wage,” the PM responded.

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn

Mr Corbyn kept up repeated questioning, but the PM would not respond to his specific point.

At one point, the Labour leader asked a question from a member of the public – causing Conservative MPs to erupt in howls of disdain.

A spokesperson for the Labour party said: ”The PM was asked six times whether families will lose out next year. Six times he refused to answer. Draw your own conclusions.”

The Government's policy as it stands is expected to have a dramatic impact on families, especially children.

Research conducted by the IFS calculated that only around quarter of money take from families through tax credit cuts would be returned by the new National Living Wage.

A study by the Resolution Foundation think-tank found that 200,000 children would slide into poverty immediately after the tax credit cuts go ahead.

Public opposition to the policy appears to be hardening, with a ComRes poll for the Independent On Sunday suggesting that 43 per cent disagree that the cuts are needed – compared to 34 per cent who do.

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