Belfast Telegraph

Independent MP Lady Sylvia Hermon fury at Tory tax credit cut change

By Noel McAdam

Lady Sylvia Hermon has voiced outrage over the Government's handling of tax credits.

The North Down MP said she had been left red-faced after initially voting to support the Conservatives' cuts to the benefits, which will impact on 120,000 families in the province.

The independent MP bitterly clashed with Treasury Minister Damien Hinds in the House of Commons, and later said she had been furious.

She said: "I have to admit, in fact, I am embarrassed to say, that I voted with the Government on the cut to tax credits.

"I did so on the clear basis and understanding that there would be mitigation in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement of the worst effects of the cuts to tax credits.

"The minister cannot imagine my anger as I listened to his party's conference, and the Prime Minister and the Chancellor ruled out any such mitigation." Last night Lady Hermon told the Belfast Telegraph that she had been given promises before her initial vote, which had then not been fulfilled.

"After being given reassurances by various Tory MPs that there would be mitigation of the effects of cuts to tax credits, I was absolutely furious when both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor completely ruled out any mitigation during the Tory conference," she added.

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to set out new transitional arrangements for tax credits in a five-year spending review today, which will also mean further cuts for Government departments.

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