Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Media
26 October 2015

Even the right wing press is against George Osborne’s plan to cut tax credits

The Sun and the Spectator are both opposing the Chancellor's proposals, illustrating the likely impact of the cuts on the population.

By Media Mole

The Sun and the Spectator have come out against George Osborne’s proposed tax credit cuts. Both publications, which supported the Conservatives ahead of the election, are highlighting the negative impact these proposals would have.

Spectator editor Fraser Nelson revealed in a column today that most workers claiming tax credits “will be worse off in 2020 than they are today”, even with the minimum wage rising to £9 per hour. In the most extensive analysis undertaken on the cuts so far, Policy in Practice (the group that conducted this research) also showed that “[f]amilies who respond to the cuts by trying to earn more will be worst-hit by the current reforms”. These conclusions, Nelson writes, “ought to stop these reforms in their tracks”.

His column follows the Spectator’s leader last week:

“Now, Osborne is coming after the very people whom his party pushed towards work. Those on the breadline, trying to work their way up, are finding themselves treated like benefit cheats as a result of the Chancellor’s tax credits crackdown. A mother of two children who is paid £20,000 stands to lose £2,000 a year due to his reforms. Some seven million working families stand to lose an average £1,200 a year. Some workers may claw back almost £150 a year by the proposed minimum wage increase. But they also face a bitter headwind blown by a Tory Treasury.”

Meanwhile the Sun, which argued earlier this year that “cuts were essential“, has published data showing how the “blue collar workers championed by the Tories will suffer the biggest hit” if the reforms go ahead as planned.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

From a cleaner, who will be £1,805 worse off, to a bricklayer who stands to lose £2,399, the Sun reports that the cuts – which could cost some low-income working families £26 per week – are “ten times as damaging” as Gordon Brown’s 10p tax rate abolition.

Content from our partners
Small businesses can be the backbone of our national recovery
Railways must adapt to how we live now
“I learn something new on every trip"

The Sun has previously published research showing how 100,000 families could face poverty when the reforms come into place next April, and have launched a campaign to help low-paid workers threatened by the “bonkers” cuts.

As far as this mole’s concerned, when even the right wing press are calling your cuts “blistering” and “a weapon aimed straight at the strivers”, it might be time for a quick rethink.