Melanie's speech on working tax credit cuts


Here's what our MP said on 20th October:

"Prices have risen faster than wages during the vast majority of this Government’s time in office. Working people in Grimsby have seen their earnings fall by more than £2,700 since 2010. Today, one in three of my constituents earn less than the real living wage of £7.85 an hour. Grimsby desperately needs a pay rise, but what this Government are doing instead is cutting people’s incomes by at least another £1,300 a year. People simply cannot cope with a further reduction in their incomes.

The Government say that people simply need to work harder for a few more hours a week in order not to lose out, but for many, that is completely unrealistic. Many people in my constituency do not have that option; some are already working two or three jobs just to make up the hours. Conservative Members were given a mandate by their constituents based on their party’s manifesto and on what the Prime Minister said during the election campaign. They do not have a mandate to cut tax credits; in fact, they have a mandate not to cut them. What does it say about the regard in which Conservative Members hold the voters of this country if, just five months later, they walk through the Lobby and do precisely the opposite of what the Prime Minister promised?

The irony is that I agree with what Ministers have been saying: we do need a higher-wage economy, with less being paid out in welfare as a result. We need to support and help to grow the industries of the future, but the Government are doing the opposite. Three of the UK’s solar energy companies have entered administration in the past two weeks, the green deal has been scrapped and investor confidence in the wind energy sector is drying up. The Government have failed to make any real attempt to save the thousands of jobs being lost in the steel industry. That shows what is actually developing under the Conservatives: an economy in which more and more jobs pay less than the real living wage."

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