Conservative MP Stephen McPartland has boycotted a meeting with Treasury Minister David Gaulke, after he discovered that the government plans to cut Child Tax Credit by up to a third.
Figures obtained from the House of Commons Library call into question an earlier promise from David Cameron that Child Tax Credits were “not going to fall”.
McPartland, who is one of the two Conservatives who voted against tax credit cuts in September, said the information from the Commons Library show that 830,000 families will see their Child Tax Credit slashed in 2015/16, as a result of measures proposed by Chancellor George Osborne in the Summer budget.
The Tory MP described the shocking figures as “completely unacceptable”.
It “destroys the government’s final defence that planned cuts do not apply to child tax credits”, he added.
“I am grateful to the House of Commons Library for providing me with these statistics, which sadly prove that many working families will see their Child Tax Credits cut.”
He cited an example of a family who is currently receiving 87% of their maximum Child Tax Credit award. However, this will be cut to 51% in April 2016, when the planned changes take effect.
He told the Telegraph: “I am boycotting the meeting and the media are not invited, as he [Mr Gauke] does not want to talk about the cuts to child tax credits I have uncovered.
“I just think it’s inappropriate that a Treasury minister is coming to Stevenage to talk about giving money away in tax credits to businesses when as a member of the same government I’m trying to stop the disastrous impact of the tax credit changes are going to have.”
Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra, said: “It is simply astounding that David Cameron and George Osborne’s failure to address concerns around their proposed tax credit cuts means one of their own MPs has had to protest in this way.”
Gordon Brown – who was the designer of the tax credits system when he was Chancellor – spoke at a meeting with the Child Poverty Action Group in central London today.
He said tax-credit cuts are “totally counter to British Values” and warned child poverty would hit a 50-year high if the reforms are not abandoned in full.
He pointed out that the cuts will undermine the work ethic that the Tories claim to value so much, and act as a disincentive for people with families wanting to work.
Brown warned that the cuts will mean that there is “less compassion for children in our country which is surely one of the most important features of a civilised society.”
Tax credits cuts are “anti-work, anti-family, anti-children, anti-fairness, anti-women, and in my opinion anti-British”, he said.