Deep cuts to the tax credits of millions of families have been approved by the Commons after a threatened rebellion by Conservative MPs faded away.
Some three million families will lose around £1,000 a year under a measure which was bitterly condemned by Labour’s new leadership team. The shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra, described it as “arguably the biggest single cut to families’ income ever implemented by a government”.
Some Tory MPs feared a backlash from constituents when their income is sharply reduced. But in the end, the Government secured a majority of 35 for the cuts, which will take effect from April.
Damian Hinds, the Treasury minister, said the move was essential to help reduce the national deficit. He argued that the Government’s overall package of economic reforms would eventually leave most households better off.
But Labour’s former welfare reform minister, Frank Field, claimed that Mr Osborne had “destroyed his 2020 election strategy” because the issue would “catch fire” across the country as the cuts were implemented.
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