Clause 51 — Period of entitlement to contributory allowance

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:30 pm on 1st February 2012.

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Photo of Anne Begg Anne Begg Chair, Work and Pensions Committee 1:30 pm, 1st February 2012

Indeed. As I said earlier, the people who will be punished most are those who have done the right thing. They are the ones who have been in work, the ones who have saved, and the ones who have partners who have been in work and remain in work. It would be much easier for their partners to drop out of work as well, because they and their partners would then, as a household, qualify for the benefit. That would probably be the wrong thing to do from the point of view of the family, but given such a benefits system—I was going to say “a benefits system that would make them better off”, but it might not do that—it will become a logical choice for a working partner in those circumstances to give up work. Although it would probably be wrong, it would be logical.