With all the bluster emanating from the Government benches at the moment that might seem a surprising suggestion. Cameron and Osborne are, however, showing themselves to be quite adept at setting traps for their political opponents. I can’t help but feel that the defeat of the welfare reforms in the Lords was an example of those opponents falling into just such a trap.
Tories have been busy telling the press that Osborne is in “listening mode” on the cuts to tax credits (here and here, for example), prompting speculation that he will perform an embarrassing u-turn. Enter the House of Lords and their defeat of Osborne’s proposals. This action has, I suggest, given Osborne the opportunity to soften his “reforms” whilst blaming the “unconstitutional action” of the Lords for forcing his hand – rather than simply admitting he was wrong in the first place.
Conveniently, it also gives the Government further ammunition to drive reform of the Lords to suit its own agenda.