LETTER: Shame on Tories for work penalties

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Few of us who watched BBC 1’s Question Time last week will fail to have been moved when mother of four Michelle Dorrell made her emotional statement about the impending work penalties.

She had voted for the Tories in May as tax credit cuts were not in their pre-election manifesto and Cameron had even told TV viewers during the campaign that these rates would not be cut. But now, she explained, despite how hard she currently works, she will be penalised; will struggle to pay her rent, the bills and support her children.

Unfortunately, this ‘cruel and perverse’ cut (as described by Rachel Reeves, a member of the Treasury Select Committee) will affect 3.2 million families nationally by an average of minus £1,300 a year with some losing up to £3,000 (The Observer, October 11).

Economists (New Statesman, October 16) have indicated that the future ‘promised’ rises in the minimum wage (by 2020) will not go anywhere near far enough to compensate for the loss of income from tax credits for millions of hard-working families, including those with children.

Maria Caulfield’s Lewes constituency has a staggering 6,100 children in 3,300 working families using child credits. This means that there are more people adversely affected by the cuts than she has in her electoral majority (1,083). It is shameful that she chose not to represent these constituents last week in parliament when she voted yes to these cuts.

Michelle Dorrell’s last words on Question Time (directed to the Tory panellist, Amber Rudd) were ‘Shame on you!’ – and I echo the same sentiment here to Maria Caulfield.

Sherry Russell

Ferrers Rd, Lewes