Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Did Gordon Brown just mislead the House of Commons?

I just saw something on ITV news that made my ears prick up.

They had a clip of Gordon Brown from the House of Commons today stating categorically in response to a question from Andrew MacKay (coincidentally my MP) that nobody who currently receives tax relief on childcare costs will have this benefit taken away. Seems quite clear to me. In fact for the avoidance of doubt, here is the exchange from the Hansard website today:

Q4. [299025] Mr. Andrew Mackay (Bracknell) (Con): Is the Prime Minister comfortable with the fact that nine of his ex-ministerial colleagues have written to him to say that his proposals to scrap tax relief on child care are wrong and immensely damaging to working women?

The Prime Minister: We have said—I repeated this yesterday to a meeting and again this morning—that nobody who is receiving tax relief for child care vouchers will lose it. That assurance, which I make here and which was made yesterday as well, is one that people will welcome. At the same time, we want to expand nursery care for two-year-olds and create a situation in which nursery education runs into primary and secondary education from two to 18. However, no Government have done more to advance and support child care in our country, and we shall continue to do so in the next few months.

Straight after this clip, the reporter explained that that is not really true because after 5 years the new rules (which appear to be means tested) will apply to those currently claiming them too.

So as far as I can see, Gordon Brown misled the House of Commons. Anyone listening to him would be under the impression that all people receiving this benefit right now would carry on receiving it, presumably until they naturally become ineligible as their children become too old. That however is not true.

Will Gordon Brown now return to the Commons, apologise and set the record straight?


Pam Nash said...

Gordon misleading (that's lying, in laymen's terms) the HoC? Fancy that! That's a firs..........oh, wait..........

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

The clue is in "we shall continue to do so in the next few months". (Aren't these the really significant words, btw?)

After that, some wicked, wicked Tory Chancellor will scrap this commitment and liar Brown can then point to his words yesterday as how under him and New Labour everything would have been so much better.