Tax Credits

I understand the concerns of the public around the proposed changes and these decisions are never made lightly. Following the Lords' vote, George Osborne has said that he will listen and reflect before reporting back as part of the Autumn Statement at the end of this month.

It is highly likely that there will be changes to tax credits as savings have to be made. We have already taken steps to protect the elderly and the disabled but our goal is to make the required savings whilst ensuring that there is not suffering amongst those most in need.

It is vital that we protect the most vulnerable. However, it is also clear that we were elected to fix the public finances. By 2010, welfare spending had spiralled out of control and difficult decisions do need to be taken to control the budget and ensure Britain lives within its means. If we don't take these decisions, then it's the poorest that will suffer as jobs are lost and incomes fall; and other services will have to be cut.

I appreciate that this has been a contentious issue, which is why the Chancellor has said he will listen and report back to Parliament.  I look forward to a time when we can move to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society, where everyone who is able can work, both in Dorset and elsewhere, and can secure a decent job.