Karin Smyth (Bristol South) says she has met many constituents at her regular surgeries who will be hit by the planned cuts, due to be implemented next Spring. But she is worried self-employed people who will also suffer are not yet aware of their position.
“Many people in Bristol responded to low pay and a lack of job opportunities in the city by setting up their own business,” she said.
“They saw self-employment as a way forward in challenging financial times, and a lot of these people are now employing others, creating much-needed jobs for Bristol residents.
“When you are beginning to establish yourself in business, the money rarely pours in from the outset. It takes hours and hours of hard work and a long time for the rewards to trickle through.
“Tax Credits give self-employed people a vital lifeline to help push them on through this extremely challenging process.
“By making a deliberate choice to axe Tax Credits the government is punishing entrepreneurs.
“And they’re also punishing those who might in future be employed by these small businesses.”
The MP says her email inbox has been deluged by people supporting the campaign for the cuts to be stopped.
“Along with other Labour MPs, I opposed these cuts in Parliament,” she says, “but the voting numbers are stacked in the government’s favour.
“With increasing opposition we might yet see a u-turn. In the meantime the campaign for a change of heart goes on.”