£12bn welfare cuts bill passes first parliamentary hurdle

Houses of ParliamentMPs have backed UK government plans for £12 billion in welfare cuts.

The vote on the second reading of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, which includes plans to limit child tax credit to two children, passed by 308 to 124 in the House of Commons last night.

Forty-eight Labour MPs, including 18 newly elected to Parliament in May, defied orders from acting leader Harriet Harman to abstain and instead voted against the bill.

However, a Labour amendment seeking to derail the legislation was defeated by 308 votes to 208.

The bill, which also seeks to lower the overall household benefit cap from £26,000 a year to £20,000 outside of London, and £23,000 in London, as well as to train a further three million apprentices, has now cleared its first parliamentary hurdle and will move on to more detailed scrutiny.

Conservative MPs lined up to support the measures, while the bill was also opposed by the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens.

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