Sunday, 6 January 2013

David Cameron Defends Child Benefit Cuts

David Cameron has defended controversial cuts to child benefit payments that came into effect at midnight, insisting the reforms were "fundamentally fair".

The Prime Minister insisted the move - which will see families with one earner on more than £50,000 lose some or all of the payment, while households with two parents with salaries just under the trigger keep theirs - was the "right approach".

"I'm not saying those people are rich but I think it is right that they make a contribution," he told BBC 1's Andrew Marr Show.

"This will raise £2bn a year. If we don't raise that £2bn from that group of people, the better off 15% in the country, we would have to find someone else to take it from."

He added: "I think people see it as fundamentally fair that if there is someone in the household earning over £60,000 you don't get child benefit."

It is "full steam ahead" for the coalition, Mr Cameron said as he insisted the Government had a packed agenda.

And he told Marr that he had no intention of stepping aside.

He said: "I want to fight the next election as the leader of the Conservative Party, I want to win a Conservative majority and I want to serve."

Mr Marr interrupted: "And stay as Prime Minister for five years?"

Mr Cameron replied: "That's exactly what I have said."

Today, Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will publish a mid-term review of progress the coalition government has made since 2010 and set out its top priorities for the rest of their term.

Mr Cameron said: "What you are going to see tomorrow is a coalition Government with a full tank of gas, it's full steam ahead.

"We have travelled a long way down the road we need to travel but there is a lot more we need to do.

"Far from running out of ideas, we have got a packed agenda, which concerns things like how do we build roads in Britain to make sure our economy keeps moving, how do we pay for the care for the elderly, how do we have a pension system that encourages saving - big things that are going to equip our country for the next decade."

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