Income Support and Child Benefit

Part of Orders of the Day — Social Security Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:56 pm on 14th March 1988.

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Photo of Mr Dave Nellist Mr Dave Nellist , Coventry South East 6:56 pm, 14th March 1988

I am just trying to tell the House that on two occasions, at 10 and between 12 and 1.30 today in Coventry, I spoke to several hundred young people about the fact that this Bill was completing its stages through Parliament, beginning at 3.30. I mentioned to them that Lords amendment No. 3 to clause 4 was coming before the House, and they felt extremely aggrieved about it.

What I am trying to do, Mr. Deputy Speaker, in my final brief remarks on this clause—because I am also concerned that there should be as full a debate as possible, particularly on the following amendments to do with child benefit — is just to tell the Government through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, as the Chair of this particular stage of the Bill, that there is widespread and deep opposition among those about to leave school who, despite the Government's attempts to reform this clause by the introduction of Lords amendment No. 3, were not reassured at the meetings that we held in Coventry this morning and this lunchtime.

I warn the Government of this. There is widespread opposition to this amendment, to Lords amendment No. 3, to clause 4 of the Social Security Bill, and the Government will reap the reward of what they have sown by this clause in the weeks and months ahead, when those youngsters and their parents realise, in three weeks' time, that half a million young people lose their benefit and, in 24 hours' time, that 21,000 millionaires reap their reward from the Budget.