Child benefit cuts are fair, says Prime Minister
DAVID CAMERON yesterday 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".
He told BBC 1's Andrew Marr Show: "I'm not saying those people are rich but I think it is right that they make a contribution.
"This will raise £2 billion a year. If we don't raise that £2 billion from that group of people, the better off 15% in the country, we would have to find someone else to take it from."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
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 Mr 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."
He added: "Before we even get to the election in 2015, we have got the second half of this parliament.
"What you are going to see 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."
Mr Cameron sidestepped questions over whether the UK would lose credibility if it lost its gold-plated AAA credit rating this year.
Chancellor George Osborne has previously set great store by the status, which helps the Government borrow at attractive rates because it is at a very low risk of defaulting on its debt, but has appeared to be less hardline on its importance in recent weeks.
The Prime Minister said: "The top of the list of worries is making sure you continue to have credibility for the deficit reduction programme."