Department for Work and Pensions

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:08 pm on 2nd July 2019.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art 2:08 pm, 2nd July 2019

I thank my right hon. Friend and constituency neighbour for that intervention. He brings me to the point that I was just about to make, which was what Beveridge might have thought of what we have done to family benefits. When we have children, life costs more. Beveridge knew that in the 1930s and 1940s, and family benefits were always designed to be a solid part of the modern welfare state that would help our country rebuild after the second world war. That is also because those benefits rely on the contributory principle. How on earth do we expect to get responsible adults who are able to use their talents for the benefit of our country and get to the point in their lives when they can adequately pay back to the welfare state if children’s ability to grow and learn has been undermined at the very point when they needed the welfare state to pay out for them? We take out when we need, and we pay in when we can. That goes for family benefits along with everything else.