Working tax credit

Kiran Stacey

After a couple of questions on Afghanistan, following the news that six British soldiers are presumed dead, Ed Miliband turned his attention to more domestic, and combative topics: specifically welfare.

What would the prime minister say, asked the Labour leader, to Tim Howells, a man from Dartford with a wife and three children, who faces losing his working tax credits when the minimum number of hours that must be worked to claim them rises from 16 hours to 24?

David Cameron had a reply: the 24-hour threshold was for couples, meaning each one only has to work 12 hours.

The problem is, replied Miliband, that his wife spends her time looking after the couple’s three children. And Howells simply can’t find the extra hours the government is asking him to do.

Cameron effectively acknowledged the unfairness, but was able to turn it to his own advantage: Read more