Ed Balls confirms Labour will oppose Tory tax credit and benefit cuts

11th December, 2012 2:48 pm

At Treasury Questions this afternoon, Ed Balls said:

“We will look at the legislation but if [Osborne] intends to go ahead with such an unfair hit on middle and lower income working families while he is giving a £3 billion top rate tax cut we will oppose it. Why is he making striving working families pay the price for his economic failure?”

So unless Osborne drops the top rate tax cut (which seems unlikely), Labour will be opposing tax credit and benefit cuts.

  • http://twitter.com/JayneLinney Jayne L

    Would be a much better message if the unjust rhetoric of ‘strivers’ wasn’t used.There are millions of Chronically Sick & Disabled People ‘Strive’ every day just to live and are labelled ‘Scroungers’!!

    • metrolivia

      I am chronically sick and considered a ‘scrounger’ when I live on the bare minimum needed to stay alive..used to be called Income Support for long term illness…now called ESA (I live in the guinea pig area) which has been trimmed to death. They can not cut us any more surely and why? We are not the cause of the financial chaos it is the banks and the Tories that are to blame..ie The filthy rich! Let them pay! No point in stealing off a poor person.

  • Serbitar

    Well of course it’s bad if “middle and lower income… striving working families” suffer real terms cuts in their income, by way of below inflation benefit uprating, but I can’t help but wonder if Labour would have been quite so falteringly opposed to this measure if only the poorest of the poorest “strife-ridden workless families” were affected.

    I would like to think so but to be candid I’m not really sure.

    • aracataca

      Isn’t opposition to this move a de facto challenge to Osborne’s nasty little myth about walking past drawn curtains? We’re trying to circumvent the Tory Press on this one at the same time as oppose this odious measure.

      • Serbitar

        Opposition to Osborne’s latest nastiness is obviously the right course but if Labour really believes in its own “One Nation” shtick it should spare no pains to nail the lie that the sick, disabled, unemployed and similar are partly or wholly responsible for the misfortune visited upon them, and as such deserve the ceaseless Tory and tabloid calumny heaped upon them. Labour needs to be honest and forthright and brave and true, otherwise what’s the point?

        • aracataca

          And lose the election?
          If you want politicians to stake out the politically pure ground while getting mullered in elections The Revolutionary Communist League might be able to help.

          • Serbitar

            Are you saying that Labour should seek to be no better than the Tories then? That the Party has to lie (just like the Tories) and demonise innocent minorities (just like the Tories) seeking to justify abandoning them to existences of unprecedented poverty and suffering (just like the Tories) in order to win the next election? What point is there in winning power if you end up hardly less dishonest, cruel and barbaric as the monsters you once fought? Have we really fallen that far from grace?

          • AlanGiles

            Your are absolutely right. Labour 2012 is so anxious not to offend the readers of the Daily Express, they come over as timid and cowardly. To oppose these cuts is the only position you can take if Labour is to remain a moral crusade. The worry is that Miliband will leave Byrne in post to cook up his “regional benefits” scheme, which would be as disastrous as Duncan-Smith’s unworkable Universal credit.

            As more and more “hard-working families” and “strivers” find their members joining the dole queue, as seems likely, Labour will, hopefully, be less spineless

          • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

            Writing in the Guardian John Harris* tells how a senior Labour figure told him that “party high-ups [are] claiming that they have to come down “even harder on people on benefits than bankers.” ”

            Has ambition ever been so blind? If, at a moment of crisis, Labour’s careerists opt to side with corporate interests and drive away the votes of the disaffected huddled masses you can be sure another party will be along shortly to harvest them.

            * http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/12/moment-ot-truth-miliband-labour-party

          • PaulHalsall

            Liam Byrne needs to be dumped. And Yvette Cooper (I have more time for her) needs to apologise for perpetuating Purnell’s work.

          • aracataca

            No credit for opposing Osborne’s legislation I take it?

          • AlanGiles

            Politicians – even Labour ones – should not expect “credit” for doing what is morally the right thing to do. It should not even have to have been debated

          • aracataca

            So Osborne and his friends are immoral in respect of this issue.

          • AlanGiles


            Bill, if you want to promote childish and pointless arguments, please do it with somebody who enjoys your repartee. I find it silly and boring in the extreme.

          • aracataca

            nice to see you criticise the Tories for a change.

          • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

            I happen to live in one of the safest Tory constituencies in the country, it is also one of the wealthiest non-London constituencies. Yesterday I was gobsmacked to find out that my well-to-do town now has a food bank – superbly run by local churches. Never, even in the memory of the longest-lived, has there been anything like this here. The management have reported that it has been over-whelmed by demand and an appeal for donations and volunteers has been issued.

            Next spring when the wide-ranging austerity programme is let off the leash, I predict there will long queues of crisis struck families at all MPs surgeries. Even Tories might discover their consciences. And certainly, Labour’s ‘let’s mimic Tory policy’ brigade will go very, very quiet.

          • aracataca

            Can I be very nosey and ask what constituency it is?

          • aracataca

            Of course not. I don’t believe the party is doing this at all. In fact opposition to Osborne’s measure indicates a refutation of Osborne’s myth about ‘drawn curtains’ and the subsequent demonisation of the unemployed. Rightly the party is seeking to oppose this measure and by implication Osborne’s bogus characterisation of the unemployed while at the same time seeking to avoid being wrongly skewered by the Tory Press for supporting the so-called ‘feckless’.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Speaking as an outsider benefit claimants seem akin to social lepers these days as far as I can see. It’s a wonder that they don’t have to ring bells or spin wooden clackers to warn the much admired, loved, and lovable ‘hard working strivers’ that they’re coming, forced to drink from streams, and driven from their homes etc… although, thinking about it, the Tory bedroom tax, benefit cap, and similar are moves in that exact direction I suppose. Eeek.

  • aracataca


  • Frank Furter

    what about families out of work?


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