I was fortunate to be selected as the 13th question in the ballot for PMQs today. Unfortunately, due to time pressures, the Speaker cut off the end of my PMQ, which I have replicated in full below. I have also posted the official Hansard report of the question and the Prime Minister’s non-reply below.
“Earlier this month the IMF reported that 15% of income went to the highest 1% of earners in the UK, whilst 5m ppl earn less than the living wage.
“Given that raising the income of the poorest 20% would increase growth, why is the PM even contemplating cutting tax credits for people in work, on low pay which would result in the largest rise in child poverty in a generation?”
This month’s International Monetary Fund report shows how unequal the UK has become, with 15% of all income in the UK going to just 1% of top earners while over 5 million people earn less than the living wage. Given the evidence showing that increasing the income of the poorest 20% will lead to an increase in growth, why is the Prime Minister contemplating a cut in tax credits to people on low pay?
What I would say to the hon. Lady is that the statistics show that inequality in Britain has gone down, not up. One of the reasons for that is that we have 2.2 million more people in work. As I said to her right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman), what we want to see in Britain is an economy in which we create well-paid jobs, cut taxes and keep welfare down. The alternative, which is a low-pay, high-tax and high-welfare economy, is what we had under Labour, and it has not ended extreme poverty.