HC Deb 10 November 1970 vol 806 c179
5. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now make a statement about his proposals for improvements in family allowances.

28. Mr. Barnes

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he now has to increase family allowances.

Sir K. Joseph

Our immediate proposals for helping poor families with children are contained in the Family Income Supplements Bill, which the House is to debate this afternoon.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Will my right hon. Friend at least assure us that the use of the family allowance instrument as a means of helping families with young children is not excluded from his thinking as his social policy develops?

Sir K. Joseph

I can give my right hon. Friend that assurance. I hope to explain this afternoon why we chose a family income supplement for the first step.

Mr. Barnes

Does the right hon. Gentleman accept the reasons given by the Chancellor for not introducing increased family allowances with claw-back? Does not he agree that that could perfectly well have been done if the Chancellor had been prepared to give a higher priority to raising the threshold at which people start to pay income tax, rather than taking 6d. off?

Sir K. Joseph

Yes, Sir—that is technically possible. I shall try to develop the arguments about this subject later this afternoon.