History is written by the winners, and re-writing history is exactly what the Tories are setting about doing. George Osborne has been questioned by the Treasury Select Committee today about his proposed changes to child tax credits. And the fact defying statement that he made was that we can’t complain because he told everyone that he would cut child tax credit in the run up to the election.
When asked about the cuts, Mr. Osborne claimed that during the general election the Tories had “provided a huge amount of information about these changes, more so than any other government, more so than certainly any Labour Chancellor”. However, during the general election when pressed about where the cuts would be, the Tories said time and time again that they had not decided yet where the £12bn cuts would come from;
When the Liberal Democrats leaked documents saying that there were plans to cut child tax credits, Mr. Osborne was quoted as saying “This is a three-year-old document of policy options that was commissioned by the Chief Secretary himself. We have not put into practice any of these options. We don’t support them. We didn’t support them. We don’t support them in the future”.
And when David Cameron was pressed on Child Tax Credit cuts, he repeatedly stated on television that he would not cut Child Tax Credit.
Yet despite all of the evidence that the Tories did not spell out where cuts would come from other than explicitly denying that Child Tax Credits would be cut, Mr. Osborne is now claiming to have not misled the public, and to have always been clear where the cuts would come from. Mwhahaha.
When pressed about the child tax credit cuts, he also told the select committee “People know what we’ve proposed and of course in the general election we made it very clear we needed to make £12 billion of savings from welfare, so it was also, you know, signalled in the general election campaign and, I seem to remember, heavily debated in the general election campaign”. So unless he is truly very very forgetful indeed, we have to assume that what he meant was that the general public should have seen through the lies told during the election campaign and assumed that he would cut the child tax credit anyway. And in that at least, he’s right – we should have.