Harriet Harman, the interim Labour Party leader, labelled George Osborne as ‘weak’ and ‘a big softie’ today, saying his cuts to tax credits and other benefits won’t do enough damage to people’s lives.
The move follows up her announcement on Sunday that the Labour Party intends to back the Chancellor’s decision to cut child tax credits. Taking Labour’s position a step further, Harman intends to table an amendment in Parliament calling for unemployed people to face weekly public floggings.
A spokesperson for Harman said, “There’s no way we’re going to be outmanoeuvred by George Osborne in this Parliament in the way that we were during the last one. Osborne will seem like a cuddly little teddy bear compared to what we’ve got planned for people.”
Harman is said to be particularly dismissive of the government’s record on child poverty. The spokesperson continued, “Only 700,000 more children are expected to be pushed into poverty over the coming years. What a pathetic attempt at making families and children suffer. There’s so much more he could be doing to hurt the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.”
Harman’s approach has been questioned by some Labour backbenchers, some of whom say they can remember something about the Labour Party being against poverty and inequality. However, others in the party who are supportive of Harman believe Labour’s history as a left-wing to be a myth akin to the Loch Ness Monster.