Tax credit victory should be welcomed, not derided

IanMurayIan Murray MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, says the Lords did the right thing last night, and it’s sad that Cameron and Osborne are so blinded by ideology, and Nicola Sturgeon by party politics, that they cannot see it.


UPDATE: This story now has an epilogue. Please see below for the twist in the tale.

Last night, the Labour Peer and former DWP Minister, Baroness Patricia Hollis, delivered one of the best speeches that either House, the Lords or Commons, has heard in many years. It was balanced and well-researched. It was passionate without being partisan.

What’s more, it was practical and it was positive – and that, I think, is the key reason her motion was carried by cross party and cross bench support.  It was designed to support he poorest in our society who work hard and do the right thing. It called upon the Government, on George Osborne and David Cameron, to listen to the concerns being raised about their cuts to tax credits, and the impact this will have, and to take action to provide full transitional protection for those hardworking families who stand to suffer, through no fault of their own.

Baroness Hollis furnished the House with a number of illustrative examples of such families.

  • The mother working 40 hours a week doing two jobs on the Minimum Wage to support her two children who will lose £1,643 a year.
  • The couple, one working full time earning over the Living Wage, the other a carer for their two disabled children, who will lose £3,120 a year.

For the very interested here is the Statutory Instrument. You will see it is about thresholds, rates and tapers only.

In what warped world could this be deemed fair? These individuals, and thousands of others like them, could not be working harder. They have done everything that Government and society has asked of them, using tax credits to bolster their wages and working flat out to support themselves and their families.

The plain truth is that the Government have got this around the wrong way.  In order to bring down the tax credit bill, you have to increase wages.  If you increase wages first then tax credits fall and people are not worse off. Despite what the Prime Minister claims about people being better off, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said this claim was “arithmetically impossible”.

Yet thousands of families will be getting those letters, at Christmas no less, telling them how much money they will lose. 3 million families, according to the IFS, will lose on average £1300 a year. An additional 200,000 children, according to the Resolution Foundation, will be plunged into poverty next year, rising to 600,000 in 2020 when other budget measures take effect.

And it isn’t just Think Tanks and the Third Sector who are urging restraint.  Right wing papers like the Sun and the Daily Telegraph have been critical. Tory MPs like Heidi Allen are telling George Osborne he has got this wrong.  A former Tory Chancellor, Lord Lawson, expressed disquiet at the Government’s refusal to mitigate the impact of these cuts.

Whatever your feelings on the legitimacy of the House of Lords – and we in the Labour Party have made ours quite clear in our calls for it to be abolished and replaced with an elected Senate of the Regions and Nations – no fair-minded, compassionate individual could deny that, in passing Baroness Hollis’s motion, and forcing George Osborne to “think again” by setting out transitional measures to protect those families who will lose out from the tax credits over the next three years, the Lords did a good deed. This was a major victory for decency and common sense.

Sadly, individuals from two parties did not see it that way. David Cameron and George Osborne complained that the Commons’ “financial privilege” had been breached. Threats were issued about “Rapid Reviews” to limit the power of the Lords. This is a specious argument. If the Government had wished for financial privilege, they would not have made these changes through Statutory Instrument, but would have included them in the Finance Bill, which was considered in the Commons yesterday evening, or the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, which will complete its remaining stages today. It is George Osborne who has breached a convention – the convention that if you work hard and play by the rules you will be taken care of.

The other person who expressed disapproval was First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. No sooner had Labour Peers declined to support the Liberal Democrats’ “fatal motion”, then she took to twitter to criticize, quickly followed by others who support her every utterance blindly and without question. The hypocrisy of this is beyond belief and lack of understanding deplorable.  The SNP do not recognise the Lords, and frequently deride them as an unelected second Chamber with no democratic legitimacy. And yet here was the leader of the SNP, the First Minister of the Scottish Government, openly attacking Labour Peers for not going far enough in using powers that, in her eyes, they are not entitled to exercise in the first place. Indeed, judging by the way she rapidly backtracked, I think Nicola herself realised she had gone too far.

There is a simple reason why neither Labour, cross benchers, the Bishops and even some Lib Dem peers didn’t support the Lib Dem fatal motion and that is because it would have killed the Statutory Instrument and it was advised that the Government would just have brought it back immediately in a money bill that the Lords can’t look at.

Labour’s amendment was drafted with the advice and guidance of the clerks – constitutional experts. It did not contravene constitutional convention or financial privilege. It did not infringe upon the rights of the Commons, as an elected Chamber, to make financial and budgetry decisions. What it did do is force the Government to listen, to think again, and to protect the thousands of people who would otherwise have been left out of pocket, if not thoroughly impoverished.

The Lords did the right thing. It is sad that Cameron and Osborne are so blinded by ideology, and Nicola Sturgeon by party politics, that they cannot see it.  I’m proud of what the Lords did last night. The actions of our First Minister show she is more concerned with creating grievance against Labour and does not care if she does it through misunderstanding or misinformation.

As she and the SNP take up all their time doing this, we will continue to find ways to protect Scots from a majority Conservative Government.  Last night we won, today, we fight on.


Here is the text of Baroness Hollis’ motion which passed in the Lords:

As an amendment to the motion in the name of the Lord Privy Seal, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to consider the draft Regulations laid before the House on 7 September until the Government, (1) following consultation have reported to Parliament a scheme for full transitional protection for a minimum of three years for all low-income families and individuals currently receiving tax credits before 5 April 2016, such transitional protection to be renewable after three years with parliamentary approval, and (2) have laid a report before the House, detailing their response to the analysis of the draft Regulations by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and considering possible mitigating action.”

As we know, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP criticised this heavily, failing to acknowledge that the fatal motion they preferred would likely have resulted in the measure returning as primary legislation and being forced through the Lords. So how extraordinary it is that yesterday in the Commons the SNP moved this clause, which they had submitted about a week before:

“Tax Credit reforms

The measures in this Bill and (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 relating to the award of tax credits and the relevant entitlement within Universal Credit shall not take effect until the Secretary of State has implemented a scheme for full transitional protection for a minimum of three years for all families and individuals currently receiving tax credits before April 2016, such transitional protection to be renewable after three years with parliamentary approval.”

Yes, it’s a non-fatal amendment pretty much identical to the one they so heavily criticised Labour for supporting!

Now Labour’s Commons amendment yesterday was a fatal amendment, because the bill can be safely blocked in the Commons without the measure being brought back. So we have the extraordinary situation of the SNP proposing what they claimed was a disgrace the day before, in a situation where a fatal motion was in fact the right course of action.

So, in essence, the SNP called us a disgrace yesterday for voting on a motion they already had down to the Welfare Bill and for not voting on a motion that we had down today ourselves that they could have put down but didn’t.

Labour will continue to use Parliament to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s becoming clear that the SNP’s only use for it is grandstanding.


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64 thoughts on “Tax credit victory should be welcomed, not derided

  1. The Bishops? I think that’s an open goal for Kezia.She needs to campaign to have this out of date nonsense reformed root and branch.This is exactly the kind of thing that an autonomous Scottish Labour Party can get its teeth into and start the fightback.Its a chance to steal a march on the SNP.Its also an issue that Scottish Labour parliamentarians in both Edinburgh and London would be fully united on.Its an opportunity to put the SNP on the back foot and force the Tories onto uncomfortable ground.

    1. Had we won the election reforming the lords and replacing it with an elected second chamber was a a key commitment.

      1. As it was in 1997 2001 and 2005.

        Has Labour not had the opportunity to “reform” the HOL already? And yet they keep filling it with “LIFE” peers as much as the Conservatives and Lib Dems do.

        A commitment would have been to NOT put forward candidates for membership don’t you think?

      2. Kev, sorry to say you are dreaming if only the dream could come true it is the Labour Party UK who will decide what goes into the Labour Party manifesto the Scottish Labour section are under the control of their big bosses in Westminster so you should get used to it. All this talk of autonomy federalism etc is an illusion what they your bosses in Westminster will say is to that is the Scottish Labour section are bleating again for change and Jeremy Corbyn will say to them do us a favour get me my ear plugs. In otherwards Scottish Labour section will be all talk and no action.

        1. I think abolition of the House of Lords is exactly the kind of thing that a Scottish Labour Party and an English Labour Party could co operate on.If there are going to be several autonomous Labour Parties it’s important that mechanisms are established so they can work together with common purpose when required.Kezia can’t abolish the Lords on her own and that’s why she is right to sign up to an agreement with Jeremy.A more federal Labour Party moving towards a more federal Britain.

          1. Was it no just a few months ago that Labour put 3 new peers into the HOL?
            In what way does putting in more “LIFE” peers help to reform it?

  2. “What it did do is force the Government to …… protect the thousands of people who would otherwise have been left out of pocket, if not thoroughly impoverished”.

    Except it hasn’t. It has only postponed the misery for a short time and there is no guarentee the UK govt wont just bash on with the bill largely (if not totally) unammended. Granted the “fatal” motion would have achieved much the same thing but it would have sent a much more powerful message. Slamming the policy down sends more shockwaves out than just saying “we don’t like your policy as it stands, and we know we can’t stop it, so here is another plan that will get you all you want but make us look like an opposition …. if you don’t mind”.

    As Baroness Hollis said; “… new claimants aren’t covered by our amendment” and ” … by 2019 over 90% of those on Tax Credits will be on Universal Credit where they will have their cuts”. So the Labour “victory” is only a party specific political one. The low paid will still face unacceptable cuts to their income that Scotland did not vote for (and were assured would only happen if we voted for independence … sorry … separation).

  3. What a farce! Labour once again abstain from taking down Tory policy and try and pretend a pathetic amendment and partial delay is the same thing.

    It is truly sickening.

    1. Sorry mike, but sturgeon has rolled back from her in initial position. Perhaps this hasnt filtered through the nationalist echo chamber yet.

  4. How Labour can try to call themselves the party for the working people’s is a joke, failing to support the Lib Dem fatal motion to kill the Bill to stop the Tories taking tax credits off poor people will show that Labour are more interested in preserving the House of Lords club than protecting the people. As for John McDonnell he is about as left wing as my big toe, going on TV saying that he will support some new Tory changes to cutting tax credits is weak and a disgrace, as for this fellow called Frank Field is he a Labour MP or is he a Tory because as far as I can see works for the Tories. How come Labour send all the so called left wing MPs to the House of Lords club like John Prescott now a Baron what’s happend to the once great labour party a party for the workers I will tell you it is no more.

    1. But this is where Kezia and Jeremy’s agreement will come into play.A federal Scottish Labour Party will have the authority to speak directly to the Scottish people,but still call on the English Labour Party to help out on the wider UK issues such as House of Lords abolition.Yes,there will be difficult issues from time to time,such as Trident,but these can be dealt with in a grown up and in a spirit of co operation between the parties.I think this is a great opportunity and deserves support.

      1. I thought you wanted a completely autonomous “Scottish” Labour party Kev. Have you converted to this nonsensical federal “footerin’ aboot”. A federal Labour party is still just one organisation which has, ironically, branch offices. Only a “Scottish” Labour party that completely breaks its ties with the UK party can do the things you seem to want. Anything else is just more of the same under a different name.

        1. I think that’s a very negative view of what Kezia and Jeremy are bringing forward.An autonomous Scottish Labour Party working with the English Labour Party on the issues that matter.Radical action is required and that’s what the agreement will deliver.This is Scottish Labour moving forward.A federal party working towards a federal Britain.

          1. Kev, sorry to say you are deluded as there is no Scottish Labour party it’s a section of the Labour Party UK so if what you say is true it would mean that the Labour Party UK would have to agree to change the Labour Party UK Constitution and Rule Book and then vote on the changes to make this happen, the same is for the English Labour Party you refer to there is no such thing as the English Labour Party as I said there is only one Labour Party UK. So all this talk between Kezia and Jeremy is irelavant in any case if it was to happen it would have to be agreed then voted on by the Labour Party UK.

        2. Pony, you do understand that a fundamental tenet to federalism is that the power lies with the regions, not the top?

  5. Labour have been claiming they want to abolish the H of Lords since Keir Hardie was about. They haven’t somehow managed it just yet.
    Will those on Tax Credits actually be “saved” by this victory? New claimants obviously wont be. Old claimants will be shifted to Universal credits, so will still apparently lose out? Any experts out there? Perhaps Mr Murray can give some examples of where claimants will be financially, in a year or two.

    1. I think it’s a little unfair to expect Ian to have the powers of a clairvoyant.The ink is hardly dry on the agreement between Kezia and Jeremy.Once it’s fleshed out we’ll all have a better understanding of how it will help alleviate the terrible situation the Tories are forcing Tax Credit recipients into.

      1. KeV, this was a Labour amendment. Are you claiming the Labour Peers didn’t know the parameters of what they were voting for? That Mr Murray is clueless as to the outcome of this Labour “victory”?

        The Kezia/Corbyne Agreement is surely the exact same as The Murphy/Miliband Agreement?

        Or has something material actually changed, since Kezia backed her boss when Deputy Leader?

        1. I think there has indeed been a material change.Kezia and Jeremy realise that there has to be radical change,demonstrable Chang,in the way that the Scottish and English Labour parties relate to each other.They recognise that tinkering at the edges is not enough.If the Labour movement is to push a federal solution to the constitutional question it will have to have federal structures itself.
          Murphy/Miliband was of its time.Its over now and Kezia realises a different approach is needed.These are different times.Times of change.

          1. No what is happening is that they are trying a different approach to how they present the lie that Labour in Scotland is not subordinate to Labour in London by giving it a descriptive term.
            They want to call it Federation.
            But people know there is only 1 Labour party and the leader is Jeremy Corbyn and he will direct and control Labour across the UK from London. And Kezia Dugdale will do exactly what he tells her to do and follow whatever ideology the Labour leadership in London decides.

          2. What, precisely, is the “material change” you assert has occurred?
            Could you please tell us what it is, and what “radical, demonstrable change” actually means, other than waffle?

  6. Labour did what the snp cannot. Oppose. As a party of protest the snp have proven themselves ineffective at anything other than moaning. No surprise that this victory for democracy is just something else to moan about.

    1. “Victory for democracy”—-Labour New Speak at its most hypocritical.
      Cameron has already “created more Peers than any other PM, and he threatened to make a hundred more.
      No doubt Gareth will see this as adding to “democracy”.

      1. You simply refuse to acknowledge reality, don’t you. It’s one approach, I suppose.

        1. I acknowledge the reality that Labour once again abstained on Tory legislation this time in the House of Lords.

          Why wont you?

          1. Labour voted for the Hollis motion, which passed. The idea that this was an abstention is laughably dishonest.

          2. It’s easier for all if you were to just say “I haven’t foggiest idea what happened. Can someone please explain it to me” rather than just open your mouth to change feet.

            Look – if they had voted against, it would have been forced through – the Tories have the power to do this. What happened here was a tactical yet effective manoeuvre which has seen this ugly bill delayed for 3 years. 3 years is a lifetime in politics.

            I know this doesn’t sit will with the ‘red Tory’ view you obviously hold, but that’s what happened. NS’s comments on the abstention just shows how little she understands about how politics works. The ONLY way to stop a majority government from passing this motion was precisely what was done by Labour peers.

            Please go back to the WoS/National SNP mouthpiece sites and correct their misunderstanding. Ta muchly.

          3. Mike why on earth would you continue with this line? Even the National agreed that the Lords vote had wrecked Osborne’s plans. You know the National? That newspaper created to praise sing the SNP and insult Labour?

  7. It seems to me that no political party should be allowed to ‘nominate’ someone for the Lords.

    It may be a sticking plaster on a disastrous arm of our government, but I think the only people who should be able to recommend peers, and life peers at that, are Royal Colleges and the like.

    We would get people who perhaps have some life experience, some view of the world that is a-political, rather than self serving.

    If we must have an unelected second chamber, perhaps people who represent the best of us, such as nurses, surgeons, economists and theoretical physicists amongst many others, would be a better way forward. At the moment, the only body with protected entitlement are Anglicans. Which always seemed a bit odd to me.

  8. I get the feeling that many of those posting responses to Ian Murray’s blog have not actually read it! People in Scotland may be more politically engaged than ever, but I really do worry about the depth of that engagement and the ability of some to listen to the views of others.

    1. I understand your problem. You’re confused because people don’t perceive the SNP as the party which would take us to war on a pack of lies or get mired in Cash for honours cash for questions or cash for access or are the party to introduce tuition fees increase council tax above inflation abstain on Tory austerity legislation promote means testing, prescription charges and privatisation and as a result are voting for them.

      You think the SNP should be shunned because the opposition via their corrupted media circus are putting out unfounded smears in the shape of such earth shattering exposures as the Alex Salmond lie over EU advice or the fact that Michele Thomson got caught making profits from buying and selling houses.

      Its because the SNP are not the party of warmongering austerity promoting privatisation means testing tuition fees local tax increases that people are voting for them and it wouldn’t matter how many times you tell them Alex Salmond ate your hamster.

    2. I think some of these comments highlight the scepticism of many.It makes it clear just how much work Kezia and Jeremy have to do to convince people that this is a new deal between Scottish and English Labour.Its not just rhetoric.These aren’t empty promises.Its also important to reiterate that this isn’t navel gazing.Kezia spoke recently of the divisions caused by the referendum.These divisions were,in part,due to people having to answer a binary Yes/No question on independence.There were very good reasons why the Yes/No question was asked,but it wasn’t the choice so many people wanted to make.The agreement between Kezia and Jeremy can start to heal those divisions by offering something that people can come together on and get behind.Scottish Labour,in conjunction with English Labour,can seize the agenda and give Scots a positive vision of the future for Scotland and the UK.The agreement between Kezia and Jeremy is only the start.Instead of talking the talk,Scottish Labour are walking the walk.Thats the way not to silence the sceptics,but to bring them on board.

      1. You’re trying to tell us that Labour can change the UK simply by changing their approach at telling the same lie they’ve been telling us for decades.

        You’re not fantasising you’re deliberately trying to promote what you know to be a bare faced and already exposed lie.

        There is only one Labour party in the UK and its leadership is based in London and its ONLY leader is Jeremy Corbyn. The rest is subordinate.

        1. Johann Lamont said Scottish Labour was treated like a branch office..She was right and nothing has changed since.The signed statement from Kezia and Jeremy is a statement of their intent to change that.There is no good reason why English Labour and Scottish Labour can’t operate as individual parties,whilst co operating on the many issues where they will,no doubt,share common ground.This is a natural progression that fits in with Scotlands progress along the road of devolution.The Scottish Labour Party has to be firmly on that road and at the front,striding forward confidently,not dragging its heals,slouching about at the back with its hands in its pockets kicking at stones.

    3. No Scott. We just don’t take anything a Labour party politician says at face value. We have been lied to too often by them to ever do that again. We disagree with his assertions and interpretations. That is all.

  9. Duncan

    “Labour voted for the Hollis motion, which passed. The idea that this was an abstention is laughably dishonest.”

    Labour abstained on the Lib dem proposal to kill the legislation stone dead altogether and instead chose to vote on the weaker and relatively irrelevant motion to delay the legislation but only for those who are already in the system. New applicants wont get the “benefit” of the delay at all.

    And here you are being dishonest again about Labour abstaining.

    The “Fatal motion” vote was lost by a vote of 310 to 99 because Labour abstained.

    Being the troll again Duncan.

    1. You’re commenting on an article which sets out precisely why your version of events is wrong. You’re deliberately distorting. Enough. Either engage honestly or not at all.

      1. Why is my version wrong simply because another version is presented by a Labour MP?

        Why isn’t his version wrong? Wont his version be coloured by his inbuilt and default partiality?

        1. Labour did abstain and so the fatal motion was lost,but I think Ian gave a good account of why,in his opinion,it was better to allow the fatal motion to fail in order that Labours own motion could get a chance to succeed.In a federal Labour Party Scenario Scottish Labour and English Labour would have worked together as sister parties.

          1. As I have explained to all and sunder if the Con Tories can circumvent the HOL over 1 amendment they can do it for any and all amendments which clearly means they can do it for the Labour amendment as well which puts paid to any claim Labour have that they voted for their own amendment because the other amendment would have been circumvented as ludicrous.

      2. “There is a simple reason why neither Labour, cross benchers, the Bishops and even some Lib Dem peers didn’t support the Lib Dem fatal motion and that is because it would have killed the Statutory Instrument and it was advised that the Government would just have brought it back immediately in a money bill that the Lords can’t look at.”

        I had a really good laugh at this excuse because there is nothing stopping the UK Government bringing back the legislation in the manner Murray suggests they would over the kill the vote amendment for this amendment either. Instead of waiting the 3 years to implement.

      3. What is factually incorrect about Mike’s post? Labour abstained on the “fatal” motion and as a result it failed by the numbers quoted. Labour’s amendment’s, if adopted (unlikely), would only delay the loss of income for some while protecting others not-at-all.

        The bill could have been killed in the Lords, but Labour abstained, so it wasn’t. Granted, the Tories would just have brought it back as a financial bill and therefore effectively cut the Lords out of the process. But it would still have had to go back to the commons where Labour’s (and, it turns out, the SNP’s) amendment would have at least a slight chance of being passed if enough Tory rebels backed it.

        Labour had the chance to make a statement in the Lords about their outright opposition to this bill by killing it. They chose not to do that, possibly because it was a Lib Dem amendment and Labour wanted the limelight. That’s a shame. The SNP are making the most of it. That’s politics.

        1. No, Labour did not abstain. Go and read up on the rules of the House of Lords. Labour voted for a different motion.

          And, FYI, the fatal motion would have fallen anyway because it did not have the support of crossbenchers or bishops.

          And to all intents and purposes the bill cannot be killed in the Commons because the government have a majority. They do not have a majority in the Lords.

          Labour did more than make a statement in the Lords. Labour actually made things better for people. Why people like yourselves prefer the gesture politics of the SNP, sending messages but changing nothing, to Labour’s approach of working out the best way to actually help people, then doing it, is utterly beyond me.

          I find this sort of politics depressing. Labour actually made a difference, and you celebrate instead the people who prefer carping from the sidelines.

          1. But they haven’t helped anyone. They simply got an amendment passed in the Lords that the UK govt can simply ignore or, at best, make a token gesture towards. Even your own Lords spokes person admitted it would only delay the cuts …. if adopted.

            In the current Westminster set up, gesture politics is what opposition parties are effectively reduced to. What Labour achieved in that vote was itself “gesture politics” as it probably wont help anyone. But then “Scottish” Labour should know all about that. After all, “gesture politics” sums up their entire contribution to Scottish political debate over the last few years.

          2. Sorry, can you talk me through how exactly the government can “simply ignore” the Lords amendment?

          3. “Ignore” may be the wrong word. “Render meaningless” is the more likely outcome. It is still the UK govt’s bill. They get to reword it to take account of the amendment. The amendment, from what I can see, doesn’t specify any levels or mechanisms of protection. It actually asks the govt to come up with a scheme. Do you trust the Tories to do the right thing?

          4. It’s really worth reading up on how this works. So much of this discussion has been dysfunctional due to misunderstandings. The fact that it’s a Statutory Instrument rather than a bill matters here. The Commons can’t just overrule the Lords. The government will be forced to address the amendment, and if it doesn’t do so satisfactorily the Lords will not approve the SI. This SI is subject to what is called the Affirmative Procedure, which means it needs the express approval of both houses before it can be put into practice.

          5. I can see your rationale Mr Hothersall. I just don’t have your faith in the Westminster system. The Tories will spin up a storm to put the wind up a fair few of our “betters” then tweak the Bill just enough to give still more of them an excuse to vote it through. End result, largely if not totally what Cameron and Osbourne wanted all along.

            Maybe your wildest dreams will come true and the Tories will put in place everything you would wish. But, even then, it still only delays the cuts for some for a short time. It doesn’t get rid of them.

            I think any Labour celebrations over this “win” are a tad premature. Wait to see what the Tory’s response is.

          6. Scepticism is healthy. My conjecture, though, is that Labour has actually achieved something here, which the SNP has scorned; meanwhile SNP supporters have condemned Labour for not supporting an amendment which WOULD have let the Tories do what they want, right away.

            Few days in political life are black and white. But in this instance, Labour did its best to help prevent some terrible cuts, while the SNP crowed and picked grievances to suit their longer term aim. I’m proud to be part of party that prioritises actually helping people over scoring points.

          7. “I’m proud to be part of a party that prioritised actually helping people over scoring points”.

            Eeeerrmmm …. you better have a word with Jackie Bailie, Kezia and a fair number of other Labour worthies over that claim. They are rather letting the side down.

            By the way, the LD motion would not have given the Tories what they want straight away. If I read what has been said right, they would have had to re-introduce the Bill as a finance bill that would require far more Commons scrutiny before it went back to the Lords. Something many Labour grandees would have preferred it to have in the first place. Are they wrong in that?

            As I said, Labour have achieved nothing yet and, probably, will be disappointed for the reasons I laid out earlier. Naturally, you disagree 🙂

      4. “Murray was referring to the second and third motions, which rather than killing the cuts voted to ask the government to delay them and “protect” claimants on low incomes for three years. What exactly was meant by those changes was clearly explained by the Labour baroness who’d put forward the third amendment.


        In other words, rather than the cuts having been stopped and the Tories being forced into an incredibly controversial and difficult gerrymandering of the second chamber:

        – Anyone who becomes eligible for tax credits from now on will suffer the cuts immediately, without any three-year “protection”.

        – Anyone already on tax credits will still suffer the cuts, but they’ll pay them through reductions in Universal Credit rather than tax credits.

        – The total final amount of cuts will actually be HIGHER than those planned by the Conservatives.

        We fully expect that spontaneous demonstrations and rallies from low-paid workers cheering Labour’s heroic intervention are breaking out in the streets even as we type this, as the grateful poor celebrate losing more money in a slightly different way to the one originally proposed. We’re off out for a look.”

        Any reason why this version would be less credible?

  10. Re Mr Murray’s epilogue. Did Labour’s “fatal” commons amendment pass (given the parliamentary arithmatic that is highly unlikely and predictably so)? How exactly can an amendment be “fatal”? Surely all it does is change the bill. What was Labour’s so-called “fatal” amendment anyway? As usual, Labour’s crowing about how relevant they are leaves more questions than it answers.

  11. Martin

    “The ONLY way to stop a majority government from passing this motion was precisely what was done by Labour peers.”

    You need to explain to me how the Conservatives can bring back legislation that is defeated in the HOL if its a Lib dem amendment but cant do so if its a labour party amendment.

    Because you’ve just claimed that although the Conservatives could have circumvented the Lib Dem amendment they cannot circumvent the Labour amendment.

    You people are so utterly corrupt you must believe the whole world is gullible.

    1. It has been explained to you. It is explained in the article you’re clearly not bothering to read. Enough from you on this. It’s difficult to believe your ignorance is anything but willful.

      1. No Duncan it hasn’t. Murray glibly explains how a process can be used to circumvent the HOL in order to avoid amendments. ALL amendments not just Lib Dem amendments.

        So clearly its inclusive of the Labour amendment as well making the claim that Labour “ABSTAINED” on the Lib Dem amendment because of the circumvention process a total bare faced lie.

        Your absolute denial of all reality is nothing but willful corruption.

          1. Whats not true? The fact that The conservatives can circumvent the HOL on ALL amendments or only on selective amendments?

          2. It’s not true to say the Tories can circumvent the non-fatal amendment that Labour helped to pass. Read up on what a Statutory Instrument is, what the Affirmative Procedure is, and why this regulation cannot be reverted without the permission of the Lords. Or just keep spouting garbage, up to you.

  12. Duncan

    “It’s not true to say the Tories can circumvent the non-fatal amendment that Labour helped to pass. Read up on what a Statutory Instrument is, what the Affirmative Procedure is, and why this regulation cannot be reverted without the permission of the Lords. Or just keep spouting garbage, up to you.”

    Why don’t you instead highlight the parts that prevent any HOC majority from circumventing specific amendments passed in the HOL but allows them to circumvent others?

      1. Lets leave it for others who read this to decide for themselves then because you’re clearly too far gone to acknowledge reality. Must be that chip implant.

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