South Cambridgeshire MP’s speech on tax credit cuts splits public opinion after she votes against reversal

Heidi Allen

Heidi Allen - Credit: Archant

The MP for South Cambridgeshire has provoked a media storm after her maiden speech last week called on the government to reduce the scale and speed of tax credit cuts, to protect those on the breadline with ‘no cloth left to cut’.

Yet Heidi Allen MP, who lives in Steeple Morden, has been branded a hypocrite by some, for voting against the Labour motion ‘to reverse the decision to cut tax credits’ on the same day as the speech.

Matthew John Patrick tweeted: “You voted for them a few weeks ago, spoke against them today, but didn’t vote that way. This is why people don’t trust politicians.”

Anne Dunn tweeted: “@Heidiallen75, Just read your views on tax credit cuts on the front page of the Royston Crow. If you feel that strongly, why did you vote for them?”

Heidi explained why she ‘could not’ vote for Labour’s motion as she felt it was ‘ far too black and white.’

She said: “They wanted the Government to totally reverse plans to cut tax credits which is not something I could support. This is why I voted against.

“I want the government to review the pace and scale of cuts as I feel they are too aggressive and punitive on many of the working families that we should be supporting. In any case, Labour’s debate was on a motion, not a bill so would not have had been legally binding in any case.

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“I did not feel abstaining was the right thing to do as I totally disagree with the principle that tax credits should not be reformed at all.”

Heidi was praised by other members of the public for what they deemed to be a brave and sympathetic speech.

Chris Ware tweeted Heidi saying: “Thank you for a wonderful maiden speech.

“I though compassionate conservatism was dead. I hope you can bring it back.”

Dominic Oliver said: “Her vote would have accomplished nothing; her speech could potentially accomplish a u-turn.”

On Monday, George Obsorne’s plans to cut tax credits were put on hold when peers in the House of Lords voted to delay the cuts pending an independent analysis.

The Chancellor reacted by saying the power of the Lords raises ‘constitutional issues’. However, he agreed to lessen the impact of the cuts and offer transitional help for those affected.