On Monday Conservative Chancellor George Osborne saw his plans to cut tax credits for those in low income jobs and families with children pushed back by two consecutive votes in the House of Lords.

Ahead of the debate, the Packet asked Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, whether she had supported the cuts - which the Institute of Fiscal Studies had predicted will hit the poorest hardest and cost millions of families around £1,000 a year - and why, as well as asking people in Falmouth how the measures might affect them.

In an email Mrs Newton confirmed she would be following the government line on tax credit cuts, and she feels that it is "vitally important" as the government rebalances the economy "that no one is left behind - including no one in Cornwall."

She said: "Our government is still spending significantly more each year than it raises in taxes.

"The welfare budget is the biggest single element of government spending. If we don’t make some savings in this budget, all the cuts will fall on public services like the NHS, schools, the armed forces and the police."

As part of the government's £30billion in planned savings, £12billion will come from the welfare budget, and Mrs Newton said the Conservative's don’t believe it would be right to cut the state pension or disability benefits, and so have focused on tax credits.

She claimed that the introduction of a National Living Wage worth £7.20 an hour in April 2016, forecast to rise to over £9 by 2020, along with raised income tax thresholds and 30 hours free childcare would more than make up for the cuts, leaving households better off.

She said: "In summary, there is no denying that some of the decisions we have taken are tough, but we have to get our country back in the black and taken as a whole, the package is a fair one. This government is trying to move Britain from a low-wage, high-tax, and high-welfare economy to a higher-wage, lower-tax, lower-welfare one and that is a direction of travel I fully support."

Asked what she had to say to her constituents, many of whom are in part-time or seasonal, low wage work, she said: "As someone who grew up near Falmouth and went to Falmouth School, I very much appreciate that too many people work for low wages.

"While there is more work to do, I am pleased that there are more people of all ages in employment now than when I was elected in 2010 and wages are rising. Inflation is around 0 per cent. Latest data shows that just under 70 per cent of people working in Cornwall are in full time employment. Of course many people choose to work flexibly to enable them to balance caring responsibilities with employment."

The Conservatives had claimed that a couple with two children and one parent working for the current National Minimum Wage will see their income increase by £2,480, a lone parent with one child working 35 hours on the current National Minimum Wage will see their income increase by £1,550, and a couple with two children where both parents are working 35 hours a week will see their income increase by £5,570.

However, independent think tank The Resolution Foundation claimed that by 2020, a single parent with one child, working 20 hours a week for £9.35 an hour will be £1,000 a year worse off, and a couple with two children on £9.35 an hour will be £850 a year worse off, although a childless middle-earning couple will be £350 a year better off.

On Monday, peers voted to refuse the cuts unless the chancellor introduced transitional protection for families receiving tax credits over the next three years, as well as staggering their implementation.

Hairdresser Jane Hepworth, 44, is self-employed with two young children, and said she doesn't know much about the cuts but had a feeling she would be "struggling a little bit" as she works part time.

She said: "I’ve got two young children and I’m divorced so really I’m burying my head in the sand a little bit at the minute but I’m going to have to look into it and see how it’s going to affect me next year and look at maybe getting a few more hours or maybe getting a job, because I’m self employed at the minute so I’ll have to see."

She said she had been "quite lucky" to get tax credits and they had helped her get out of an unhappy marriage, which women would now find more difficult.

She added: "It’s been really good for me. Not being stuck with having to be in work at a certain time, being able to spend more time with the kids while they’ve been small. Now my children are at secondary school, it’s not as difficult for me but I wouldn’t have been able to manage without my tax credits these last five or six years I’ve been on my own. It’s been brilliant, I think they’ve been really good for a lot of people and helped people take that step and try and work for themselves.

Luke Dimech, 36, who has returned to university following time in employment, said he felt reducing tax credits for people on a low income they "could potentially have more people just not bothering to get jobs."

He said: "Rather than that [they will] just be on benefits because they’re going to earn a lot more money than what they would actually being employed. Because even though the minimum wage is increasing if they’re going to be reducing the tax credits for people who need that money to be able to have a job and survive, then they’ll just stop having work. They’ll say ‘I may as well not bother because I’ll be better off not having a job,’ so why put people into that situation when they’re trying to introduce the unemployment rate?"

Gail Osborne, 58, a former Penzance shopkeeper who now runs a market stall, said tax credits were "better than people not working" and cuts would penalise people who are "making the effort."

She said: "If they made all those rich people who spend a lot of money trying to avoid their tax actually pay up, and the corporations who are criminally, criminally avoiding their responsibilities in a moral sense if not a legal sense, then none of this would be necessary.

"Yes you have to stop people that blatantly abuse the system from claiming but then why does that only work for people at the bottom end and not for people at the top end of society who can afford to pay their taxes and just won’t?"

Architectural technologist John Bryant, 34, said he didn't know too much about the cuts but had heard about it on the grapevine.

He said: "It’s bad for someone like me because I have got a family at the moment, we’re friends with lots of people who are having children and they’re really struggling to be able to do that, so it would be a really tricky thing.

"It’s difficult enough as it is now to bring up a child and think about actually having a family, it’s putting a lot of people off because of the cost of doing so. So to scrap anything, to stop people having the option to do so would be bad."