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Tax Credits

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:18 pm on 20th October 2015.

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Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup Conservative, Erewash 4:18 pm, 20th October 2015

We are short of time, so I will move on.

When we include the extra childcare that is being provided by Government, virtually zero inflation and mortgage rates at an all-time low, it can easily be seen that we are putting families at the heart of our welfare changes. I also believe that we are putting women at the heart of our changes. The extra free childcare will allow more women to get back into work, and those who are already in work will be able to do more hours. That will definitely boost family incomes. Wrongly in my opinion, women tend to be in lower-paid jobs, partly owing to the sacrifices that they make to bring up their families. The introduction of the national living wage and the increases in the income tax threshold will disproportionately benefit working women.

I am not saying that everything is perfect. We need to continue to narrow the skills gap between men and women. That is why I am backing a project spearheaded by the Erewash Partnership in my constituency, which aims to help women to set up their own business and realise their dreams. Some may question why we need women-only support. It is well recognised that some women lack self-confidence when it comes to going it alone in business and having the self-belief that they can do it. The support is tailored to meet those specific needs and it is working.

I want to finish by reminding people of the principle that was set out by John Bird, who founded The Big Issue: it is far more effective to offer a hand up than a handout. The culture of tax credits has become too much of a handout, rather than a hand up. I am confident that the proposed changes will create the hand up that Erewash residents want and deserve.