Twenty Conservative MPs have expressed concern at Chancellor George Osborne's tax credits cuts by supporting a cross-party backbench motion. Eighteen Tory MPs called on the government to "reconsider the effect on the lowest paid workers of its proposed changes to tax credits", while another two acted as tellers.
Responding on behalf of the government, Damian Hinds said that Osborne - who wants to trim £4.4bn ($6.74bn) off Britain's welfare spending - is in "listening mode", and that the concerns of dissenting MPs will be considered when the Chancellor makes amendments to the contentious policy in the Autumn Statement after the House of Lords dealt him a double blow on 26 October.
The motion passed 215 to zero, meaning that it was not opposed by a single Tory. Despite not being considered as a formal rebellion, the vote shows the level of unease over the cuts on the Conservative benches.
Hinds said: "We are all united in wanting to implement policies to deliver the best possible settlement for our constituents - now, in the near future and for generations to come.
"I acknowledge, as does the Chancellor, the concerns expressed today and those expressed elsewhere and earlier by MPs." He added: "The Chancellor has said he has listened to concerns and will come forward with proposals in the Autumn Statement to achieve the goal of reforming tax credits."
Chairman of the work and pensions select committee, Frank Field brought forward the motion alongside Conservative MP, David Davis. Field, a Labour MP said: "Talking to constituents you cannot come away without being incredibly conscious of the fears people are suffering. People we should be saluting and cheering are sick with worry about how they will make ends meet, whether they are going to lose their homes, whether the interest on their mortgages can be repaid, let alone protecting their children."
Davis said: "The poorest, the working poor, the dependants cannot afford to lose one pound so that's the test the Government has to meet."
Field's sentiment was echoed by Tory rebel, Stephen McPartland, who said: "I do want to urge the Treasury to talk to us, to listen to us, to work with us because I do warn the Treasury if they don't come forward with mitigation proposals we find acceptable we are going to continue to raise the issue and we are going to continue trying to ensure we look after those poorest in society."
The Conservative MPs who backed the motion were: Peter Aldous, Heidi Allen, Bob Blackman, Mr Davis, Kevin Foster, Philip Hollobone, Adam Holloway, Bernard Jenkin, Tim Loughton, Jason McCartney, Mr McPartland, Scott Mann, Tania Mathias, Mr Parish, Andrew Percy, Will Quince, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Martin Vickers. Guto Bebb and Jeremy Lefroy acted as tellers.