There is work to be done to consider the balance of taxation versus spending cuts, as Labour Members have repeatedly pointed out. As for where the money is taken from, it is notable that the coalition Government, whether by accident or design-I suspect that it is more by accident, but I give them the benefit of the doubt-have taken more from women and children. An evening up of the way in which the spending axe fell might provide more scope.
Far from seeking to improve the financial position of some of the poorest in society-those who are reliant on safety-net benefits-some of the coalition's measures will make matters worse: the changes to housing benefit; the VAT rise, which will reduce the spending power of the poorest; and the plans to link safety-net benefits to the consumer prices index, which will, over time, significantly reduce the value of those benefits to low-income families, and will therefore have an impact on the disposable incomes of the poorest women before conception, during pregnancy and after birth. I urge Government Members to think about how they would address that.