Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:29 pm on 20th July 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden Conservative, Hertsmere 7:29 pm, 20th July 2015

I invite the hon. Lady to note the analysis showing that the income of a typical renting household receiving tax credits, consisting of two people working full time with two children, will increase by 12%. That is exactly what we are seeking to achieve.

The third element comes into play once we have ensured that wages are higher—and I should point out that we are able to do that only because our welfare reform programme has been so successful that it has brought about a massive cut in unemployment. Because 1 million fewer people are receiving unemployment benefit and 2 million more people are employed, the labour market can withstand a significant increase in wages. Had it not been for those developments, the whole package would have fallen apart. Our measures reflect a more coherent vision.

Once those first two elements are in place, it is only right for us to consider reducing welfare benefits. There is a clear principle behind this. People in my constituency, and in many other constituencies, face tough choices, and those choices should also be faced by those people who are receiving welfare benefits. For example, one of my constituents will have to decide whether he or she can afford to have another child; we are saying that, similarly, child tax credits should, in due course, reflect what is appropriate for a family with two children.