MPs split over cap on benefits

Paul Maynard MP.
Paul Maynard MP.
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FYLDE coast MPs have had their say on controversial changes to the benefits system.

Tory MPs Ben Wallace, for Preston North and Wyre, and Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, say the current system was unfair.

And they have backed Government’s plans to put a one per cent cap on annual rises in working-age benefits and some tax credits until 2016.

Mr Wallace said: “Under Labour the priority was benefits first, work second.

“The Conservative-led Government is determined to ensure work pays. We think it is only fair to ensure benefits don’t rise faster than earnings.

“The less we spend on benefits the more the Government will have to spend on paying off the huge debt we inherited and education.”

Mr Maynard also backed the coalition’s plans, which were introduced because they claim benefits should not be rising at a faster rate than wages.

He added: “We need a welfare system which is fair to the working people who pay for it.

“Most benefit levels have risen twice as fast as average earnings since the financial crisis – this is not fair.

“The benefits being uprated by one per cent include out of work benefits like JSA and Income Support, and also some benefits which go to people in work like Working Tax Credit.

“That’s fair when we’re capping public sector wages at one per cent too.”

But Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, says the changes will hit most families.

He added: “We are absolutely right to have put this motion down opposing this reduction of the uprating.

“I have independent figures which the House of Commons Library has produced which show 7,500 working families in Blackpool South will suffer as a result of these cuts in tax credits and other benefits.

“It is almost as many in Blackpool North and 
Cleveleys as well.

“Nationally, all the independent bodies have said three times as many working families will be cut as people who are not working.”

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