Labour front bencher 'won't commit to reversing all tax credit cuts'


A Labour front bencher has refused to commit the party to reversing all of the Government's planned cuts to tax credits.

Seema Malhotra, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, was asked repeatedly by Andrew Marr if her party would reverse the cuts, ahead of a crunch Commons vote on Tuesday.

But she would not commit, simply stating that Labour does not want the cuts to go ahead.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, she said: "We have said that this cut should not go forward ... this is a cut to hard working families who are doing absolutely the right thing.

"It is a work penalty."

Ms Malhotra said George Osborne has "no transition plans" for bringing in the cuts and that they would be a "false economy" because they could lead to people being unable to pay their rent.

Mr Marr asked Ms Malhotra: "To be absolutely clear, Labour would restore the whole lot? Yes or no?"

She said: "We don't believe these cuts should go forward from next April."

When asked again if she would reverse the planned cuts, she said: "We are saying we don't want them to go forward now."

Tax credit cuts will be debated in Parliament on Tuesday during an opposition day debate.

Ms Malhotra said she believes her party could win that vote.

"I believe we can," she said. "I very much hope that we can.

"But that will rely on Conservative MPs coming and working with us on Tuesday.

"And I hope that they will because they, I am sure, will have representations from thousands of families in their constituencies."

Meanwhile, Labour has claimed the changes to tax credits could put 71 Tory MPs at risk of losing their seats because of the unpopularity of the policy.

Labour claim the 71 MPs - 21 in marginal seats - all represent constituencies where there are more families who will lose tax credits than was their majority in May.

Labour's tax credits debate on Tuesday will call on the Conservatives to halt the cuts plan.