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Child Benefit

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 16th June 2015.

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Photo of Ruth Smeeth Ruth Smeeth Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North 11:30 am, 16th June 2015

If he will maintain current levels of and entitlement to child benefit over the next five years.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Exchequer Secretary

As the Prime Minister pledged before the election, this Government will not cut child benefit.

Photo of Ruth Smeeth Ruth Smeeth Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North

In my constituency, there have been reports of children returning to school in September malnourished because their parents are struggling to afford to feed them. Does the Minister agree that cuts to either child benefit or child tax credit would exacerbate the problem and make the issue of holiday hunger even more common?

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Exchequer Secretary

The Prime Minister has made this extremely clear by stating categorically that child benefit stays as is. The most important thing in regard to affordability and household budgets is to increase employment and ensure that people are in good jobs. The Government have also done an awful lot to bear down on household costs to make them more affordable.

Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak Conservative, Richmond (Yorks)

Will my hon. Friend tell my constituents what this Government will continue to do to cut the costs of childcare for hard-working families?

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Exchequer Secretary

The coalition Government had a very strong record on extending childcare, and we are going to go much further in this Parliament with the extension from 15 to 30 hours of childcare for the three and four-year-old children of working parents, the introduction of tax-free credits and the further extension of childcare provision under universal credit when that migration happens.