Mumsnet – David Willetts Interview – Part 1

Mumsnet - David Willetts Interview - Part 1

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David Willetts Mumsnet interview, part 1/4.

thank you all very much for coming here today and you all know who David is is the man has been thinking family-friendly thoughts for the Conservative Party I'm sure you've got plenty on to quiz him about but first we haven't got much time and I wanted to give David the opportunity to give us a flavor of the main policies at his party of it I'm going to give you a minute I'm gonna take my watch off you've got a minute go right well first of all thanks very much this opportunity as you know that we politicians love talking to mums there in a range of ways I feel this is a bit like a job interview which in a kind of weight is I guess and in terms of our policies essentially we think families in Britain around a lot of pressure and we believe that where government can it should try to ease the pressures of families face and those pressures coming for work arrangements so we're very keen on more flexible parental evils some of the pressures are for the way in which the text credit system works particularly tough on one owner couples that's something else you want to tackle but also very keen on the advice and support that health visitors can offer i mean when our kids were younger there was still a proper nationwide health visitor service and health visitors and a lot of pressure now we will have more health visitors getting back to a kind of services they used to offer to all families and some more on top we're also very keen of course on helping families with things like access to better schools of you something they all care about and as our kids are a bit older and what I think about as well is some of the pressures that parents are under when their children are teenagers I think often get a very raw deal in the media and trying to get into work into training into university so through all the different stages of family life we're trying to identify practical things we can do to help of course not forgetting married you touched on the benefit system you also believe that in some way marriage should be recognizing the taxes them is that right yeah well most advanced Western countries do in some way and the as I hope a Conservative government is able to bring down the burden of text one thing that we want to do in the lifetime of apartment is particularly bring down the burden of tax on families and one way to do that to recognize marriage in the text system it's what they do in France is what they do in Germany and we think that Britain should be in the mainstream of pro-family tax policies and that normally involves recognizing marriage in some way so is that a tax break for married couples with children or married couples full stop well those are exactly the type of options that we've gotta look through and there's a very lively debate and I'm enjoying the debate and some people believe that it should be a light the married couples allowance was in the past when it was all married couples another option is that so-called transfer allowance which would enable families where there was only one owner the other person to transfer his or her allowance across you could have it for families with children in particular there are various ways you could do it but we and we have not identified which is the best way at this stage because i'm afraid i think is unlikely to be in the first budget so we don't have the resources straightaway so it's not something we're going to be doing straight off so for that reason we don't have to plan in great detail for something would hope to doing that very first would it be right would it be right to sue david that there is no money for a blanket transferable tax allowance you might have to concentrate for instance on married couples with children up to five I mean is that half of the flavor what you're trying to look at certainly obviously we know how tough the budget position is going to be but as we have the lifetime of a polymer to do it there are a range of options we could look at but there are people who say if you can't afford much then a good place to start would be a transferable allowance that help families with young children that summit it in Duncan Smith for example is proposed and I understand that argument and as I say we have not reached a decision at this stage but there was lots of options being put to us and that's that's fantastic and interested in your thoughts on how we should do it but you have reached a decision that what you're interested in is families where the parents of read and you're not going to support families where the parents aren't married well there are lots of ways you can support families the Turk out happening as well and they would actually for example benefit from our proposals on text credits but when it comes to the text proposal and there's a range of arguments I think one of the most powerful arguments as to why we should only stick to marriage is that's the least intrusive option in other words you're asking the tax authorities to help families in certain circumstances as soon as you start getting into what other what is the nature of your relationship are you cohabit in what's the nature cohabitation you're acquiring the text authorities to get into an incredible amount of intrusive detail in people's lives the advantage of marriage alongside all the social arguments about the value marriage advantage of marriage in this circumstance is also very straightforward unintrusive the tax authorities simply have to know if you're legally mad which is why most countries do it this way all the parents are because we all get your benefit so I don't accept the argument that you're going for marriage because it's easier to find out who they are you know who the mothers are we know the mothers only help them through child benefit but this is a name aimed at helping families couples in other ways I mean of course we support child benefit but I think it's actually in the best interests of families if governments have a range of ways of helping them and that's why in most countries you help families through the benefit system but we've got child benefit and we've got tax codes you want to improve tax credits but most countries also try to help them through the tech system and a combination of trying to ease the burden of tax on families Plus also offering them a fair deal in benefits I think is is in the long-term best interest of British member what are you actually trying to achieve that are you trying to keep more couples married are you trying to get people who aren't married now to be married and do we actually have any evidence that marriage tax incentives actually work when there's a huge pressure on the budget at the moment and I'd really like to see some serious evidence that it is working what we're trying to do is is simply if you are looking at where you could bring down the burden of contacts which eyes are conservative hope their conservative government will be able to do I think it's quite important if it that we've try to focus those income tax reductions on families in some way so this is essentially a decision that if we can bring alien burden of income tax one of our priorities reducing a burning having contacts is on families and then you look at how to do it and we look looking around advanced Western countries seeing how they do it and most of them do it in some way through a recognition of marriage and it can be as has been proposed by inducting Smith know for those people who are one earner couples and that is a really effective way of helping families none of the one of the big pressures I was talking about at the beginning because a lot of poor families of Warner families if you are one in a family you're quite likely to be on a low income so a measure that helps you transfer the lounge from one to another would be quite an effective way of helping families under financial pressure and that's one option he's been another income if you're a single parent yes and you are and of course approximately I mean less than half of lone parents are working so reduce that fewer lone parents are in the income tax system anyway so you help lone parents know the ways you help lone parents through child benefit we're helping them through tax credits by trying to end the penalty for living with a partner which series in the tax credits is the moment so it's not that the only way we want to help families is through some recognition of writing test system there are lots of other things we're trying to do as well we're just trying to do like country that are more successful than us in backing families and backing children by and large don't put all their eggs in one basket they help them in a range of different ways that help with policy is that range of problems and there is a real problem that some families are really feeling the financial pressure because they're paying a lot of tax we want to try it with the type of scarce resources to focus those resources on the basis of need not on the basis of a relationship state well there are wealth what I think it's right for Britain to try to bring down the burden of tax so one question is how you bring down the burden of tax and putting families at the front of the queue is a good is a good I think a lot of the pressures that families face is simply paying the pills at the end of the month I mean bring down the burden art exhibition other people you're awesome anything onions and that's why all families I mean there are ways of doing it but that's why one of the options then it's still open wide one of the options of the allowance that a non earner in a couple can transfer to the owner to the earner the allows that the one earn a cup it the non only the couple can transfer to the owner that that does actually work quite well when you look at it as a way of helping families on low incomes because by and large one owner couples tend to have lower income that's not the only way which we could do it other options as well but it does help and again it explains why you would focus on marriage mean there are lots of Argus about marriage and there are other things you must talk about as well but if you are transferring an allowance one person to another having some kind of legal link with that other person is the way in which most countries that have transferable out this is the reason why they focus on that

2 thoughts on “Mumsnet – David Willetts Interview – Part 1

  1. David Willetts, skills minister who 'can't change a light bulb'.
    Mr Willetts billed the taxpayer £115 plus VAT for workmen to replace 25 light bulbs at his second home in west London. On the same bill, Mr Willetts charged another £80 to change lights in bathroom, part of a £2,191.38 invoice for odd jobs that included cleaning a shower head.

  2. This man showed his true COMMUNIST colours on RADIO 2 today. You can listen to him online again on RADIO 2 website. Truly terrifying, if you want your parents money stolen, vote CONS.

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