Tax Credits

Peter Dowd (Bootle) (Lab): Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the Chancellor was very specific about how he intends to cut tax credits for poorer working families, but very woolly about how, as part of the so-called long-term economic plan, he would encourage employers to pay decent wages?

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): Before the hon. Gentleman continues, he has spoken for quite a while now, so I am sure that he is right at the end of his speech and wants to let others in.

Julian Knight: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker.

My answer to the hon. Member for Bootle (Peter Dowd) is that we will find out a lot more about the future direction of tax credits and other welfare measures from the Chancellor’s Budget statement tomorrow, so we should wait on that announcement.

I am running out of time, so let me say that I completely understand why tax credits were invented. They have done a lot of good in our society. There have, however, been unintended consequences. Worst of all, they are making millions of healthy, working-age adults reliant on cash from the state. We must preserve elements of the system for those trying to get into work, but we should augment it by active programmes of raising personal allowances and enhancing childcare provision.



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