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Echo Column: Chancellor needs to think again on tax credits

The autumn statement is now just around the corner and we await the Chancellor’s annual attempt to sugar-coat his agenda of cuts to public services, council budgets and, of course, the incomes of working people.

Independent economists have predicted that George Osborne’s proposal to cut £4 billion in tax credits mean millions of working households will lose at least £1,000 a year. With policies like that, it is ridiculous for the government to claim that it is the party of working people.

Pressure is building on all sides for the government to drop this policy and go back to the drawing board. I hope it will, but although he was told to think again by the House of Lords, his own backbenchers, the media, and public opinion across the country, I suspect this most ideologically driven of Chancellors will not back down. Even if he does so, we can be sure that cuts will hit other areas even harder instead.

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