Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury has been campaigning against the so-called “strivers’ tax” in Peterborough today (Thursday, January 10).
Rachel Reeves has been meeting with families set to feel the squeeze through the Coalition’s plan to cap the annual rise in benefits to one per cent, lower than the current inflation rate of 2.2 per cent.
It comes Peterborough was named among 106 “Battleground Seats” for the 2015 General Election.
She said: “Families in Peterborough and across the East on England have been left down by this Government.
“They are already struggling at the moment with the rising costs of living, to pay their rent, pay gas and electricity bills. They don’t understand why the Government are penalising them.
“I have met people who are incredibly worried about how they are going to be able to afford the basics, not just for themselves but for their children as well with the cuts they are going to see.”
She was collecting names for a petition against the cap, arguing the Coalition should instead be creating jobs to help cut the welfare bill.
She said: “We are saying those hard-working families, those strivers who go out to work every day should not see their tax credits cut.”
Also present was Cllr Lisa Forbes of Peterborough City Council, Labour’s prospective candidate for the next General Election.
She said: “I want to speak to as many people as I can before the election and tell them what we are about and to tell them we are on their side.”
MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson said: “Perhaps Rachel Reeves explained to local people what taxes will rise or what budgets will be cut to fund extra welfare spending, which Labour support and voted for this week.
“People in the city know her party left a huge debt millstone and thousands parked on benefits whilst they presided over mass immigration and starved Peterborough of the funds to cope with it.”