Liberal Democrats reveal Tory plan to slash child benefits

April 30, 2015 7:58 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has lifted the lid on secret Tory proposals to slash Child Benefit that were blocked by the Liberal Democrats in government.

Danny revealed that the Conservatives tabled proposals in government to limit Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit to two children - a £3,500 loss for a family of three.

It is only thanks to the Liberal Democrats that the cuts did not become a reality.

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The Tories also drew up plans to:

• Remove the higher rate Child Benefit from the first child - an average cut of over £360 for every family with children.

• Means test Child Benefit - cutting £1,750 for a two child middle income family.

• Remove Child Benefit from 16-19 year olds - a cut of over £1,000 for parents of a single child.

• Limit support to two children in Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit - cutting up to a massive £3,500 from a family with three children.

Introducing these measures would have raised over £8bn.

The plans shine a light on the scale of cuts to working age support the Conservatives will need to make in the next parliament.

These revelations come after the IFS confirmed the Conservatives have yet to spell where £11bn of cuts to the welfare budget will come from.

Danny Alexander said:

"For five years I won battle after battle to stop the Tories veering off to the right with ideological cuts, and it's been worth it to get the economy back on track while ensuring a fairer society.

"The coalition has delivered savings in a fair way, but the Tories now want to balance the books off the backs of ordinary working families and the most vulnerable in society.

"The Tories have turned their backs on the plan delivered in coalition government.

"Instead they want to cut £1,500 for 8 million households, singling out middle and low income families to bear the burden - and asking nothing from the best off.

"I'm lifting the lid on this now because the Conservatives are trying to con the British people by keeping their planned cuts secret until after the election.

"They now ask the British people to trust them when they make unfunded pledges on health and tax, yet won't tell us how they will cut welfare for millions of families to pay for their plans.

"They may give with one hand, but they will take away twice as much with the other.

"The Liberal Democrats will take a fairer approach, cutting less than the Conservatives and borrowing less than Labour, to deliver a stronger economy and fairer society with opportunity for everyone."