I will indeed come on to that topic in a moment, but I first want to talk about the impact on children of yesterday’s Budget. We knew before yesterday’s Budget that all the gains made in reducing child poverty over the last decade were set to be wiped out by the decisions of just the last year. Once upon a time the Prime Minister told us he would not increase child poverty. That was the rhetoric, but today the Institute for Fiscal Studies has given us the reality. It has already said that almost one in four children will be in poverty by the end of the decade, thanks to this Government. That was before the attack on working families in yesterday’s Budget. A generation of children will not thank this Government because hundreds of thousands more of them are now destined to grow up poor.
Then we had yesterday’s Budget, reversing any improvement in child tax credit for the poorest, and robbing 5.5 million families of £110 per child. There will now be 13 cuts to children’s benefits beginning in March, which next year will take out £2.5 billion in benefits for children. That is almost eight times the level of benefit cuts this year. Almost £12 billion is coming out of children’s benefits over the course of this Parliament; that is £1.5 billion more than is coming off our nation’s bankers. I therefore have to ask this question: what kind of Government take more off children than they take off bankers?