Simon Danczuk MP

Fighting for Rochdale, Littleborough and Milnrow

Letter from Parliament 30 October

IT took an unlikely alliance of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and two dozen Bishops, but it looks like George Osborne is finally willing to admit he got it wrong on tax credits.

This week in Parliament, Osborne’s plans to make working families in Rochdale £1,300 a year worse off were delayed by the House of Lords.

In response, the Chancellor has now said he will include measures in next month’s Autumn Statement to ease the “transition” for those whose tax credits will be cut.

While this might not be the full scale U-turn many on low and middle incomes were hoping for, it will give some respite to those worrying how they will make ends meet.

Sadly, there will be no such relief for Rochdale Borough Council which will be forced later this year to make a final decision on £37m of Government enforced cuts.

The already strained council saw its budget slashed by £143m over the five years of the last Parliament. Now the Treasury is insisting that councillors find £21m in savings over the next financial year and £16m the year after that.

Elected representatives and council staff in Rochdale should be commended for their efforts to protect jobs and front-line services from the worst of the cuts. But with even more on the way, there will come a point when this is no longer possible.

When that happens, it will be the most vulnerable who will be hit the hardest.

But now he has had one taste of humble pie, perhaps the Chancellor will take a second helping and give councils a reprieve from his relentless and unsustainable cuts.

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