Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cameron Orders Review of Lords after Tax Credit Vote

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cameron Orders Review of Lords after Tax Credit Vote

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil and Joseph Watts

DAVID CAMERON today threatened to clip the wings of the House of Lords after suffering a humiliating defeat over tax credits.

The Prime Minister ordered a constitutional review to stop the Upper Chamber "wrecking" the Government's legislative programme. Commons Leader Chris Grayling said "change" was now inevitable after the Lords voted to force the Government to amend its tax credit plans.

George Osborne has signalled transitional relief will be offered to some of the poorest households to soften the impact of cuts totalling PS4.5 billion.

The Chancellor, who is set to unveil proposed changes in his Autumn Statement next month, came out fighting at a boisterous session in the House of Commons today. He hit out at the "unelected people" in the Lords who had torpedoed his programme.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said if Mr Osborne came back with a revised plan to reverse the cuts he would be applauded by Labour MPs.

Mr Grayling also vented the Government's anger at the peers, accusing them of breaching a century-old convention that the Lords do not block the government's financial measures.

He told BBC radio: "There will have to be change. It is really a matter of trying to sort out the relationship between the Commons and the Lords, if the Lords is intent on wrecking the manifesto of the elected Government. This is all about Labour and Liberal Democrat peers in the Lords who are unhappy that they lost the election."

Senior Tory David Davis played down claims constitutional traditions had been broken by the tax credit votes. He said: "The simple truth is that this was an incredibly important, possibly harmful, thing to three million people hard-working families, the people we are supposed to support and somebody had to tell the Government to think again."

The MP suggested Mr Osborne will have to slow down the introduction of tax credit cuts and ease how they hit those on the lowest incomes, following warnings that three million people could lose around PS1,300 a year. …

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