I am absolutely disgusted by the actions of the unelected House Of Lords last night, with their votes against, and to delay the tax credits legislation.
This greatly angers me as a passionate believer in democracy.
I am a believer in the upper chamber, as there is a wealth of experience, particularly in law-making, that the House of Commons does not always have in such detail. I do believe that we need the House of Lords to scrutinise and recommend amendments to bills going through parliament.
I also agree with it being unelected, on the basis that the general public probably doesn’t care too much as to their law-amending qualifications, and electing the house may dampen their ability to apply the necessary scrutiny.
But an unelected House of Lords should not block the elected government from passing it’s proposed laws.
That job is for the House of Commons. Our MPs are there to debate and pass laws. The Lords do the scrutiny. They are not there to decide how our country works. That might happen in barely democratic places like Turkey, or falsely democratic like Egypt but it certainly should not be happening here.
Please do bear in mind that the tax credits bill was passed in the House of Commons with a majority on 3 occasions. Each time the majority was greater than the majority that the Conservative party enjoy.
I am absolutely fuming. Absolutely outraged.
Paradoxically, I and many Conservatives were very uncomfortable with the tax credits legislation, and the impact that it would have on the poor – particularly the working poor and the possibility that it could be regressive in terms of discouraging those on low pay but above the forthcoming living wage, from working.
To me, it was truly un-Conservative.
To be a Conservative, is to want to give a hand-up to those on the bottom rung of society. One of the very highest priorities for Conservatives should be ensuring maximum opportunity for all – and minimising hand-outs.
Therefore I do agree with cutting tax credits, however it has become clear that the currently proposed savings, would disproportionately affect the poor – and is particularly unfair when the inheritance tax threshold is being increased, along with the triple-lock on pensions. Both the latter policies benefit (mostly) those who are not poor.
This is not Conservative.
However, George Osborne had already indicated that he was reconsidering his proposals, and David Cameron seemed rather uncomfortable with them when being interviewed by Andrew Marr before the Conservative party conference.
There was about as much likelihood of it going ahead without amendment in the upcoming autumn statement as the pasty tax being brought back.
But whatever you and I think about the tax credits, to me it is disgraceful that the unelected House Of Lords are fucking around with our democracy.