Peter Mandelson, Labour's Chair of Election Strategy, Ed Balls, Labour's Schools Secretary, and Yvette Cooper, Labour's Work and Pensions Secretary today set out Labour’s manifesto for families at a press conference in London. To read a copy, please click here
Peter Mandelson said:
"There has been a lot of talk over the last few days of coalitions. Hot air – speculation taking the place of policy debate. But, if you can’t beat them, join them. So today we’d like to talk to you about a coalition – a real one. And a dangerous one. A coalition of cuts for kids. Because both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats are very clear on their plans to cut support for families with children.
"Cuts to Child Tax Credits. Cuts to Child Trust Funds. An agreed platform to hit Britain’s families hard. A shared agenda that we will fight all the way."
Yvette Cooper said:
"Looking after our families, bringing up our kids, for most of us is the most important thing in our lives.
"We've always made helping families a central part of Labour's campaigns - and we are doing so again in this election.
"We're asking people - and especially parents - to take a long hard look today at what a coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats would mean for families with children.
"Both parties want to cut Child Tax Credit, we want to increase it.
"Their plans mean cutting hundreds of pounds of support each year for millions of children in Britain. We think we should help all families - theirs is a coalition of cuts for children."
Ed Balls said:
“As Yvette said, there is a coalition of cuts for children between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
“It’s not just on tax credits, where the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are in agreement, but on Child Trust Funds too. The Conservatives say they will cut Child Trust Funds from two-thirds of children. Over the lifetime of the next Parliament, we estimate this means 2.5 million children losing this nest egg.
“The Liberal Democrats go even further and would abolish them all together – denying the Child Trust Fund to some 3.75 million children. A similar number of children who already have top-up accounts would lose top-up payments at the age of 7, under both parties.
“So again, we can see a Tory/Lib Dem coalition of cuts for children.
“And in the case of the Conservative Party, the policy choice they have made is even worse: they want to cut Child Trust Funds at the same time as cutting inheritance tax for the richest estates in the country. So they will take away a nest egg from millions of children in order to boost the nest egg of millionaires.
“That’s why today Cabinet Ministers will be visiting children’s centres in every region – and campaigning at schools gates in constituencies up and down the country. Labour candidates everywhere will be challenging Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates about their coalition of cuts for children.
“And we will make clear that the only way to stop the Tory/Lib Dem coalition of cuts for children is to vote Labour on Thursday 6 May.”