Liberal Democrat MP, Andrew George, will urge Government Ministers to accept amendments he has tabled which would ensure that the Government would stick to its ‘all in it together’ principle when the Government’s Welfare Bill is debated in the Commons later today.
Mr George, supported by former Party Leader, Charles Kennedy and eight Liberal Democrat colleagues, will urge the Government to ensure that (in and out of work) benefit recipients do not fall further into severe poverty in the coming years.
Mr George said, “The Government’s overall fiscal measures fail its own ‘fairness’ test. Lower income working and non-working families are hit harder than the better off – with the exception of the top 10%. The impact will be counterproductive on the UK economy as well. According to the IFS each £1bn benefit cut is likely to have a greater than £1bn negative impact on UK GDP!
“I realise that the Liberal Democrats would not propose this solution if we weren’t shackled to the Conservatives in Government. Though the Government’s 1% tax credit and benefit rise is better than I suspect would have been the case if the Tories had outright control, it’s still damaging to low income working and non-working families and bad news for the economy.”
Mr George will vote against the Bill at the final crucial Third Reading at the end of the evening if the Bill is not improved during the day’s Committee Stage.