Tuesday, 27 October 2015

It's all going off in the house!

Last night opened up so much debate in the houses of parliament.

First of all the lords defeated the Tory Government on Tax credits and now the Government has to rethink this area. Obviously, people are concerned with the changes to the tax credit system, including a number of Tory MP's. The Government plowed ahead with it anyway. But when it went to the House of Lords they defeated the proposal and they want the government to rethink this.

The Chancellor, George Osbourne, said he will listen and will try to get a consensus that both houses are happy with. Great statement but he then went on to question the constitutional process, i.e the House of Lords having this power.

There are two issues here. First of all the Government are trying to say that these people are un-elected and they should do what the elected Government was given power to do. The problem with this was David Cameron said in the run up to the General Election was tax credits would not be touched. Obviously some may say he lied, others may say he had to change it but when he made that pledge he thought he could keep it.

Secondly, the House of Lords are there to do what they did last night and keep the elected Government in check when they go to far. Therefore, many will say that last night was proof that the system works. Controversial but interesting to see how it ends.

David Cameron is now ordering an urgent review as it is clear he doesn't want this to happen again.

For me both arguments have a point, the House of Lords are un-elected but it is clear that many, including Tory MP's, thought this change in the tax system was too far and therefore they did the right thing last night by keeping the Government in check.

For me there should be two types of pledges. A and B. A are if that party goes into coalition or win out right control these pledges will not be changed or missed out. If so then the electorate have the power to call for a new election on the basis that party failed to keep their A Pledges. B pledges would be things that they want to do but if they went into coalition or won then they may change. Almost like a wish list. If this was in place then it would have been interesting to see where the Lib Dems would have put scrapping tuition fees. Had it been a A pledge then people could have called for a new election. Had it been a B pledge then people would have known it was a wish. Here on tax credits when the PM said he wouldn't change tax credits again people could have seen the pledge rating and known where it lay with him, priority or wish list.

Also the Government had to give way in the house of Commons on the Finance Bill, to get it through. This was over Ladies Sanitary Products. This is because the EU say that they are luxury items and therefore VAT has to be charged on the products. However, men's razor are deemed to be an essential item by the EU and therefore are VAT exempt. How on earth can the EU say this? So the Government conceded this needs to be addressed and will take it up with the EU.  

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