We often hear the government talking about for incentives for people to work, that work should pay. This proposal seemed to me and others to be a punishment on those honest families who are doing their very best to provide for their families...
For the past week the story of Chancellor George Osborne and his attempt to rein in the tax credit system has filled the comment pages. To some, Osbor...
So what did we learn from the three and a half hours of debate? Firstly, that the House of Lords can be relevant when there is a national debate about topical political issues that directly impact on the public. Secondly, that despite his ability to put Labour in a difficult place George Osborne can get big issues spectacularly wrong.
Both Houses of Parliament exist to serve the people of the UK, yet it fell to the unelected peers, rather than the MPs who are directly accountable to their constituents, to stand up for people whose work helps the entire country to operate and succeed.
I hope that I do not sound pious, but I think that this is about honouring our word - the Prime Minister's word - that work must always pay. It is surely about respect for those who strive to do everything we ask of them, and now find themselves punished for doing what is right. It is about trust between Parliament and the people we serve.
It had been 100 years since the House of Lords voted against a fiscal policy backed by the Commons; that record has now been broken. Last night, the Lords voted in favour of workers, voting to delay the government's tax credits reforms until the chancellor comes up with an alternative strategy for supporting the lowest paid for at least the next three years.
Ultimately, I'm just happy that lower income workers and single parents won't receive a particularly callous Christmas card. I'm happy that folks at the lower end of the income scale won't have to struggle further in 2016. It is a shame, however, that we couldn't achieve these goals democratically and that instead we have to rely on an outdated and undemocratic institution that has no place in modern democracy.
George Osborne's cries for fiscal discipline, as he snatches tax credits for working families with one hand whilst cutting inheritance tax for the rich and corporation taxes for businesses with the other, simply won't wash any more. But out of tragedy must rise anger: we must refuse to be silent over the state of injustice that has become the status quo under Tory rule. Once upon a time the shouts of hundreds of thousands of protesters marching the streets, journalists, charities leaders and politicians were able to fall on deaf ears, because David Cameron and George Osborne knew that they had the powerful voting force of Middle England on their side. No more.
Hitting deficit targets by making £12billion welfare cuts that will impact hard-working families across the nation, then making sloppy justifications that can be refuted by carrying out a little research, makes me understand how Tory MPs can sit and laugh in debates - it's easy to laugh in the face of social justice when you don't have to go home and decide whether your money will go on feeding your family or keeping them warm for the night.
The last week has enlightened quite a few about the Cameron government's reluctance to accept challenge or proper scrutiny. The prime minister would rather provoke a phoney constitutional 'crisis' with peers than deal with the issues and problems with his and Osborne's tax credits policy.
In their very haste to catch up and the urgency they attach to attracting investment, Cameron and Osborne are prepared to ignore criticism - and I suspect the advice of their diplomats - and downplay human rights and wider foreign policy considerations to put their emphasis on the purely pecuniary dimension of relations with the Chinese.
On the final leg of his State Visit to the UK, President Xi of China took a trip to Manchester to visit the Northern Powerhouse, in what is undoubtedly a coup for the city. Moreover, Xi's visit neatly summarises two of the current priorities of the Conservative Government, in particular Chancellor George Osborne: China and the Northern Powerhouse.
There may well be more choice for big retailers to open for longer, but at what cost? My local independent retailers on the high streets do not want any change and fear that extending hours for the big retailers will be a threat and will diminish the different character of Sundays. It's not too late for the Government to think again and listen to the public, the high streets businesses, workers and its own family test.
The Scunthorpe Steel Works have provided jobs and income to families in the town for over 150 years. The announcement of 2,200 job losses and the closure of the Redcar plant started speculation in Scunthorpe. The news today that over 900 jobs would be cut confirmed the town's worst fears. The possibility of the closure of the Scunthorpe Steel Works is becoming a reality. As a Scunthorpe resident, I'm worried about the future. What will happen to my town?
The Lib Dems warned about the £12billion of welfare saving and the impact on communities. But in the heat of an election people get tired of claim and counterclaim and people thought: 'I've heard the PM rule it out'. Their tax credits were safe. But yet again, the PR man put some spin on a story. Now working people are set to lose out.
When questioned during the live TV debates before the General Election about cuts to tax credits, David Cameron told the British people he wasn't going to even touch them. As a result, the Conservatives no doubt won the votes of many people whose tax credits are soon to be cut. And we all know now that those votes were won on an outright lie. That is why today in Parliament Labour will call on the Prime Minister to stick by what he promised the British people only a matter of months ago. Because it is this kind of politics that the public can't stand. It is the same old politics that saw the Lib Dems dumped by the electorate in May.