Divisions – Tax Credit Regulations

On 26th October 2015 the House of Lords debated a motion to approve the Government’s Tax Credits (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Alongside the motion to approve the House also considered four amendments to the motion, from Liberal Democrat, Crossbench and Labour Peers and one from the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Rev Christopher Foster.

The Liberal Democrat motion sought to prevent the Regulations coming into effect. The Crossbench and Labour motions sought to delay the implementation of the Regulations until certain reports and mitigating measures had been made by Government.

The Bishop’s amendment ‘to regret’ offered as an alternative, should the preceding amendments not succeed, the opportunity for Peers to place on record their concern about the Regulations. It’s full text:

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.”

The House divided on the first three amendments, passing both the Crossbench and Labour ones – details below, with the votes by bishops set out. The passing of those amendments meant that the Bishop’s amendment was not able to be put to a vote.

Those bishops who abstained in all three votes did so as they wished to vote only for the Bishop of Portsmouth’s amendment.


Tax Credits (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2015

Moved by Baroness Stowell of Beeston: That the draft regulations laid before the House on 7 September be approved.

Division 1

Baroness Manzoor (Liberal Democrat)  moved, as an amendment to the above motion, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to approve the draft Regulations laid before the House on 7 September.

The House divided:

Contents: 99 | Not Contents: 310 | Result: Government Win

The Bishop of Chester and the Archbishop of York voted Not Content. The Bishops of Bristol, Portsmouth and Winchester abstained.


Division 2

Baroness Meacher (Crossbench) moved, as an amendment to the motion in the name of the Lord Privy Seal, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to consider the draft Regulations laid before the House on 7 September until the Government lay a report before the House, detailing their response to the analysis of the draft Regulations by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and considering possible mitigating action.”

The House divided:

Contents: 307 | Not Contents: 277 | Result: Government Defeat

The Bishops of Chester and Portsmouth and the Archbishop of York voted Content. The Bishops of Bristol and Winchester abstained.


Division 3

Baroness Hollis of Heigham (Labour) moved, as an amendment to the motion in the name of the Lord Privy Seal, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to consider the draft Regulations laid before the House on 7 September until the Government, (1) following consultation have reported to Parliament a scheme for full transitional protection for a minimum of three years for all low-income families and individuals currently receiving tax credits before 5 April 2016, such transitional protection to be renewable after three years with parliamentary approval, and (2) have laid a report before the House, detailing their response to the analysis of the draft Regulations by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and considering possible mitigating action.

The House divided:

Contents: 289 | Not Contents: 272 | Result: Government Defeat

The Archbishop of York voted Content, the Bishop of Chester voted Not Content. The Bishops of Bristol, Portsmouth and Winchester abstained.


(via Parliament.uk)