Jeremy Corbyn asks David Cameron about tax credit cuts for a seventh time after giving him 'a week to think about it'

The PM has refused to answer whether people will be worse off

Jon Stone
Wednesday 04 November 2015 13:56 GMT
David Cameron asked about Tax Credits again

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Jeremy Corbyn has returned to questioning David Cameron about the effect of tax credit cuts – after giving him “a week to think about it”.

Last week the Labour leader asked the Prime Minister six times whether he could guarantee people would not be worse off after cuts to working tax credits.

The Chancellor George Osborne had pledged to mitigate the effect of the policy, which the Government was defeated on in the House of Lords last Monday.

The exactly nature or scope of any mitigation was not spelled out by the Chancellor, however.

Having not received a direct answer last week, Mr Corbyn raised the issue again as his first question at Prime Minister’s Questions this Wednesday.

“Last week I asked the Prime Minister the same question six times and he couldn’t answer. He’s now had a week to think about it,” he said.

“I want to ask him one more time: can he guarantee that next April nobody is going to be worse off as a result of cuts to working tax credits?”

Mr Cameron told Mr Corbyn he would be able to answer his question in “exactly three weeks’ time”.

He instead gave a response in which he talked at length about other policies the Government was pursusing, including the income tax personal allowance and increases in the national minimum wage.

The PM accused the Labour leader of seeking entertainment in the parliamentary session, telling him:

“If he wants to spend the next five questions asking it all over again I’m sure that’ll be very entertaining and interesting. How that fits with the New Politics I’m not quite sure.”

Mr Corbyn replied: “This isn’t about entertainment: this is not funny for people who are desperately worried about what’s going to happen next April.”

The Government has been accused of landing the low-paid with an effective tax rate of 93 per cent because of its planned steep withdrawal of tax credits.

The Chancellor's changes to the tax credit cuts are likely to be announced in the Autumn Statement.

Mr Corbyn also raised the issue of the tax credit cuts' affects on serving soldiers and gulf war veterans.

A study by the Resolution Foundation found that 200,000 children would be put into poverty overnight by the cuts.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says the Government’s new higher minimum wage for over-25s will come “nowhere near” to compensating for the cuts.

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