Following my enquiries into tax credit overpayments yesterday the SNP group at Westminster highlighted an attempt by the Tories to force changes to tax credits through the House of Commons with as little debate as possible.
Last night I voted against a statutory instrument – a mechanism used to amend existing legislation – put forward by the UK government which aims to lower the threshold for the amount of income a person can earn before they start to lose tax credits.
This is yet another example of the Tories using underhand tactics to push through their austerity agenda without proper scrutiny or debate. This time the Tories wanted to drastically reduce the threshold for the amount an individual can earn before they start to lose tax credits.
Zero hours contracts, being self-employed, people changing jobs and returning from sickness or maternity – there are many reasons why a person’s income can fluctuate and it doesn’t necessarily mean a better paid job on a permanent basis.
These proposals could actually be a disincentive to work as increasing hours or earnings may also seem less worthwhile if there is a risk that tax credits will be adjusted straight away, then re-adjusted the following month, causing uncertainty and confusion when living on a low income. It’s clear the Tories’ welfare reforms are hitting the lowest paid the hardest.
Picture from HMRC