Labour credibility questions after vote no-show

Labour’s credibility is severely in question after party abstained in a vote, forced by the SNP and Plaid Cymru, opposing Tory plans to cut the top rate of tax for the highest earners.

Despite vocal opposition and several pledges from shadow chancellor Ed Balls to vote against the measure, in an embarrassing no-show Labour MP’s failed to vote against the measure in the Commons. The Government won the vote on the 45p rate by 319 to 22, a majority of 297.

Commenting SNP Westminster Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:

“After claiming they opposed the Tories tax cut for millionaires, Labour’s credibility is now severely in question after this embarrassing no-show.

“Since the Budget, Ed Ball’s has been in and out of television studios blustering about the Chancellor’s tax plans and promising to oppose them – but at the first opportunity to vote against this unfair Tory plan and Labour abstain. Yet again Labour are letting the Tories off the hook.

“While Labour capitulate, the SNP will oppose the Tories unfair Budget which punishes pensioners and public sector workers and does nothing to stimulate the economy.

“This was not a budget for Scotland and is proof of the urgent need for Scotland to have control over financial powers with independence.”

Note:

1. Speaking at the start of four days of Budget debate in the Commons on Thursday, Ed Balls said:

"There will be a vote next week, we will vote against the 50p. It's the wrong tax cut at the wrong time.”

2. Details of the Budget vote can be found here:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120326/debt...