Working Tax Credits

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:23 pm on 30th November 2011.

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Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 4:23 pm, 30th November 2011

I will happily tackle that. In fact, the hon. Gentleman brings me straight to the main point with which I must preface my comments, which is that we are in a very difficult position, economically speaking. That cannot have escaped the attention of anybody sitting here, least of all Stephen Timms, who I know is very alive to all such matters. However, the fact is that when faced with a very difficult economic situation, we have to make very difficult choices. We must be mindful of the fact that to leave the country struggling under an enormous debt burden does not help anybody; normal working households would not thank us for failing to deal with that situation. So that is one view of fairness to which I shall return throughout my speech.