Osborne should not U-turn on tax credits (City A.M.)

CPS Digital Communications Manager Lewis Brown wrote for City A.M. arguing that the Conservatives should not undertake a full scale row-back on tax credits, Monday 19 October 2015. 

“Events like Question Time and Jeremy Corbyn’s uncharacteristically competent PMQs last week demonstrate that this issue is potentially toxic for the Conservatives.

While a closer look at the finer points of implementation may be necessary – there are concerns about whether the scale of the changes will lead to higher marginal tax rates, acting as a disincentive to work – there is no doubt the tax credit bill has spiralled out of control; from £9bn when initiated to around £30bn by 2010. And a full scale U-turn, however pragmatic, would hand Team Corbyn an easy victory that would embolden their anti-austerity agenda and force the Tories onto the back foot. Better to make the case for their full package of reforms, including the living wage and increased childcare allowances, which should mean very few actually lose out, and look to continue cutting taxes for the lower paid over this Parliament.

If George Osborne really is to earn the sobriquet “Iron Chancellor”, he must show that he is not for turning.”

Date Added: Tuesday 20th October 2015