Halifax MP Holly Lynch has today welcomed the government’s U-turn on cuts to tax credits, after a determined Labour campaign to ensure working families would not lose out.
Ms Lynch said:
“The Labour Party have been campaigning hard for a rethink to planned tax credit cuts which would have harmed the country’s most vulnerable working families. In Halifax alone 12,700 children who live in families claiming tax credits would have seen their family income fall by an average of £1,300 a year so I am delighted that Osborne has abandoned these dangerous plans.”
There will however still be significant cuts to in work benefits. Treasury documents show the Tories are still taking £1 billion from working families next year and over £3 billion by the end of the Parliament as they cut tax credits/universal credit.
In addition real household disposable income has been revised down by 0.5 per cent this year and government forecasts show that average earnings have been revised down next year, and every year until 2020.
The Chancellor announced that the policing budget will be protected from further cuts although this will only be a protection in cash, rather than real, value.
Ms Lynch has welcomed the protection of Police funding given that many commentators were expecting cuts of around 25-40%. She has regularly campaigned on this issue and had called on the Government to rethink any further cuts to neighbourhood policing. In a recent speech in Westminster she highlighted the huge pressures faced by West Yorkshire police.
As well as two major U-turns the Chancellor was forced to recognise that he has missed his own targets for reducing the spending deficit.
Ms Lynch said:
“George Osborne has repeatedly failed to meet his targets on reducing the deficit and the debt. He has previously told us that the deficit would be eliminated by now and yet it stands at £70 billion.
“His unprecedented cuts and lack of investment risk harming people’s livelihoods and the future of the economy. He has talked up his so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ but planned infrastructure spending per head in the north of England is just 16% of that in London. People in the North will not be fooled by his rhetoric.”
The cuts are part of a plan to reduce the size of the government to a 36.5% share of GDP down from 45% of GDP in 2010. Ms Lynch has warned that these cuts will come at the expense of many vital services saying:
“We have seen the effects of 5 years of Conservative cuts to Halifax; the A&E and courts under threat, the council’s budget cut by tens of millions of pounds, 957 fewer police officers in West Yorkshire and thousands of families hit by benefit cuts.
“Today’s announcements of continuing cuts confirm that the next five years will be even tougher.”