Tax Credits

Charles Walker suggests that a better way of helping poor families would be to lift the threshold at which people start paying tax.

Mr. Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con): Would not the best way of helping poor families be to lift the threshold at which people start paying tax? If there were a loss of revenue, perhaps we could fund the system by slimming down the Treasury, starting at the Treasury Front Bench and working our way backwards.

Dawn Primarolo: I am happy to speak to the hon. Gentleman privately to explain to him how the tax system works and the way that allowances benefit the wealthy more than the less well-off.

As the hon. Gentleman well knows, tax credits are a way of ensuring that the most goes to those in greatest need. Nine out of 10 families benefit from this system. He needs to consider how we should support families, how we ensure that they can rise to the challenge of a flexible labour market and how we support them in work while ensuring that we eradicate child poverty and make sure that families can reach their full potential. There is no answer to those questions from Conservative Members. "