Har-man down: Leadership candidates at odds with acting leader over tax credits

U-turn imminent?

Interim Labour leader Harriet Harman sparked a considerable backlash from her own party over the weekend, after publicly declaring her support for Chancellor George Osborne’s move to axe tax credits for the working poor.

Today, several prominent Labour figures, including three of the four potential leaders, have rejected Harman’s stance.

Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Jeremy Corbyn each said they oppose Harman, while just Liz Kendall said she supported Harman’s view.

Speaking at a leadership hustings this morning, Cooper said: “I don’t think it’s the right thing to do to cut tax credits - because they make people better off in work rather than worse off in work.”

Burnham agreed, he said: “You can’t take money from people who are trying to make ends meet. That’s where Osborne’s got it wrong.”

Corbyn put it even more stongly, saying that Osborne’s budget was “brutal and anti-young”, and that taking tax credits away from families goes against the human rights of the child.

However, Liz Kendall said: “Many parents who aren’t on tax credits have to make difficult decisions about how many children they can’t afford.

“I agree with what Harriet says - we have to listen to what people have said to us, otherwise we will get the same results.”

Meanwhile, Diane Abbott said to the Radio 4 Today programme that Osborne’s cuts would “force tens of thousands of children into poverty”. She added: “These cuts are targeted at low-paid working families and children – we can’t support that”.

In response, Harman has said she is “perfectly happy” to have her backing reversed by the party, and a source told the BBC that she had been “setting out an attitude” rather than deciding the party’s final word on the policy.

Now read

Social Bookmarks