Northampton MP says House of Lords’ tax credits vote is ‘constitutional outrage’

Northampton MP Michael Ellis took part in a heated debate after the House of Lords voted to delay the tax credit reforms with Baroness Meacher, who physically recoiled following some of his statements during the interview

Northampton MP Michael Ellis took part in a heated debate after the House of Lords voted to delay the tax credit reforms with Baroness Meacher, who physically recoiled following some of his statements during the interview

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A Northampton MP says it is a “constitutional outrage” that the House of Lords has blocked the tax credit changes voted through in the House of Commons.

Conservative MP for Northampton North Michael Ellis, who voted for the benefit payment reductions, said the “unelected peers” had overstepped the mark.

He said: “It is clear that the House of Lords as a legislative body is broken. We cannot have a situation where the House of Lords seeks to put itself above the democratically elected chamber.

“For unelected peers to defeat the Government on a financial measure - this has not happened for more than 100 years.

“We can’t allow this constitutional outrage.”

Mr Ellis said he believed the House of Lords was in need of “radical reform” and needed to be smaller.

He said: “it is an institution that should be halved in size. It has now been discredited.”

The tax credit legislation, which has now been delayed by the House of Lords vote, was a key part of the Government’s aim to reduce £4.4 billion from the benefit bill.

Opposition critics have claimed the changes would have deprived low-income workers of up to £1,300 a year.

Northampton Borough Councillor Danielle Stone, Labour group leader, said she believed 10,000 families in Northampton would be affected by the changes. She said: “I want to live in a Northampton based on fairness and justice. What our local MPs have done is unfair and unjust. They have given huge tax relief to their rich friends and have penalised ordinary families.

“Both Michael Ellis MP and David Mackintosh MP should be ashamed in voting for the cuts to tax credits.

“These cuts to tax credits also comes at the same time that the Government is making harsh changes in welfare such as lowering the benefit cap. Those who least can afford it are paying off our deficit. No child in our town should be living in poverty.”