Nick Clegg slams the Tory government in damning article

Former deputy prime minister writes of “dismay” at the Conservatives’ Summer Budget

Nick Clegg has attacked the government for taking money out of the hands of the poorest in society, in an article in the Evening Standard.

David Cameron’s former coalition partner singled out the Tories’ welfare reforms, saying the government’s claim that it stands up for working people is “A-grade, 24-carat baloney”.

Clegg said the changes to tax credits announced in the Summer Budget will cost the poorest working families more than £1,000 each.

“So where’s the outcry? If Osborne can find millions of pounds to give dead property millionaires an inheritance tax bung and spend £2.5 billion cutting corporation tax, surely fair-minded Britons will object to the poorest workers being singled out in this way?” he said.

“Why should, say, a single mother with a young son at home working as a nurse for 28 hours a week earning £18,000 lose a staggering £2,000? Or the couple with three children, both working 37 hours a week on the minimum wage, one in a restaurant and the other as a shop assistant, suddenly lose more than £1,200 of their household income?

He said the Tories have found it easier to get away with controversial policies when the opposition parties were engaged in their own internal leadership battles.

“But there are other reasons for the lack of reaction. For a start, almost nobody in the media and the Westminster village — myself included — receives tax credits or is likely to receive universal credit. By contrast, if anyone even mentions the possibility of a ‘mansion tax’ affecting fewer than 0.5% of homes, Westminster hyperventilates.”

He said the complex system of tax credits and universal credits enabled Osborne to hide the “dramatic impact on the fortunes of working people”.

He added: “But next time you hear the claim that the Government is standing up for working people, just remember — it’s A-grade, 24-carat baloney.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Why anyone should take notice of anything Useless Clegg says is a mystery to me. He's dead, but he won't lie down. Go back to your beloved Brussels-you won't be
    missed.

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  • and huge numbers of very ordinary people own houses and assets worth in excess of a million these days, so batting on about 'millionaires' is just stupid (of which he's one, many times over).

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