Osborne’s tax credits dilemma might be solved by the Lords – peers could kill the move
Huffpost’s Paul Waugh has what appears like a scoop with a report that the House of Lords, where the Tories don’t have a majority, could kill the legislative move to change the tax credits system.
This is because the means chosen by Osborne’s team to make this law is via a statutory instrument not new legislation. This has to be approved by both houses of parliament. Waugh writes:
“..A rarely-used â€˜fatal motionâ€™ is set to be tabled in the House of Lords this week, followed by a vote next week, with the specific intention of preventing George Osborne from putting his controversial Â£4bn proposals into law.
A crossbench peer is being lined up to table the motion in a bid to garner as much support as possible and use the in-built anti-Tory majority in the Lords to stop the Chancellor from going ahead..”
There are currently 246 CON peers, 209 LAB ones, and 106 LDs. In addition there are 175 cross-benchers and 25 Bishops.
The convention is that the Lords does not block measures which were in the governing party’s manifesto which the tax credit move was not.
Maybe this was all along part of Osborne’s plan to focus on the role of the upper house where his party does not have the numbers – or is that being too Machiavellian.
If the change had been included in the Finance Bill the House of Lords would have had no power.