No 10 backs Gauke
Downing Street has backed David Gauke’s attack on critics of the Coalition's plans to cut child benefit for higher rate taxpayers.
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury told The House magazine "fiscal nimbys" want to keep their child benefit but let others take the cuts needed to get the deficit down.
When asked for the Prime Minister's view, his official spokesman said: "He thinks that this policy to limit child benefit to those on less than £60,000 is the right policy and it's a fair policy.
"The way we have approached dealing with a record deficit is to do that in a fair way and that means everyone contributing to deficit reduction."
In the same interview, Mr Gauke also said that families like his own - he has three children and stands to lose £2,500 a year - would have to “live within [their] means… just like the country".
When asked if the Prime Minister agreed with that statement, his spokesman said: "That's exactly right."
Mr Gauke's comments also won support from the Liberal Democrat blogger Stephen Tall, who named him 'Liberal Hero of the Week' for his "no-nonsense defence of a fair tax regime for all".
But Shadow Treasury minister Catherine McKinnell said:
“Ministers shouldn’t be insulting parents or telling them to stop moaning about losing thousands of pounds in child benefit.
“What they should be doing is explaining how on earth it can be fair to cut child benefit from parents on £50,000 while people on over £150,000 are getting a tax cut."