Tax credits and the bishops
Several bishops were involved in the debate on tax credits which took place in the House of Lords on Monday evening. A very helpful summary is available here. Another report is over here.
One of the four motions that were under consideration was submitted by the Bishop of Portsmouth, but in the even this motion was not voted upon. Its wording was:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth to move, as an amendment to the motion in the name of the Lord Privy Seal, at the end to insert “but this House regrets that the draft Regulations fail to take account of concerns about their short-term impact on working families and individuals currently receiving tax credits, and calls on the Government to consult further on the draft Regulations and revisit their impact.”
There were three bishops who spoke:
The voting record of the bishops was as follows (h/t Law and Religion UK):
- Division 1: The amendment to the motion declining to approve the Regulations was rejected: 99 for and 310 against [Bishop of Chester, Not Content; Archbishop of York, Not Content].
- Division 2: The amendment to the motion seeking to delay consideration of the Regulations until a report has been produced addressing the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ analysis of the Regulations and their impact was agreed: 307 for and 277 against [Bishops of Chester and Portsmouth, Content; Archbishop of York, Content].
- Division 3: Their Lordships agreed, by 289 for and 272 against, an amendment seeking to delay consideration of the Regulations until consultation and a report to Parliament on the provision of full transactional protection for a minimum of three years for all low-income families and individuals currently receiving tax credits before 5 April 2016 has been completed, such transitional protection to be renewable after three years with parliamentary approval [Archbishop of York, Content; Bishop of Chester, Not Content].