Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
23 January 2012

Labour backs the Bishops on benefits

Liam Byrne says Labour will support amendment exempting child benefit from £26,000 cap.

By George Eaton

After weeks of anguished deliberation, Liam Byrne, the shadow work and pensions secretary, has finally announced that Labour will support the Bishops’ amendment exempting child benefit from the £26,000 cap if its own proposed safeguards are voted down. In response, Iain Duncan Smith quipped that the opposition “have taken more positions on this (the benefits cap) than a Jane Fonda workout”.

Indeed, somewhat confusingly, Labour doesn’t actually want child benefit exempted from the cap (which it supports in principle). Rather, it is supporting the amendment as a means of getting the welfare bill back to the Commons, where a new vote can be held on its homelessness amendment.

The Conservatives, aware that the cap has the overwhelming support of the electorate (76 per cent of voters, including 69 per cent of Labour supporters, back the policy), are relaxed about the possibility of defeat in the House of Lords tonight. Indeed, Channel 4’s Gary Gibbon claims that they are “on their knees praying for it”. The more headlines accusing Labour of “wrecking” the cap, the better, they think.

Select and enter your email address Your new guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture each weekend - from the New Statesman. A quick and essential guide to domestic politics from the New Statesman's Westminster team. A weekly newsletter helping you understand the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email. Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Towards a new, green economy
We all want climate budgets – who is ready?
How software will make or break sustainability