§ Mrs. Castle
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I wish to present a petition about family allowances and the tax credit scheme on behalf of the Married Women's Association and the women's organisation of the Labour Party, signed by 300,000 women and men of this country. May I add that the signatures would have been over a million if a number of people had not been misled by the Chancellor's reference to this matter in his Budget speech.
The petition sheweth.That grave hardship would be done to the welfare of children and families if the family allowance or child tax credit which may supplant it under the Government's proposals, outlined in their Green Paper, were not paid directly to the mother in respect of all children.The petition therefore goes further than the assurances so far given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and seeks the support of this House in urging thatAny family allowance or tax credit in lieu of that allowance which may be introduced in respect of any child in the family, including the first, shall be paid directly to the mother and that such payments shall continue to be universal with none of the exclusions proposed in the Green Paper.The petition concludes:Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House urges Her Majesty's Govern- 202 ment to retain in the event of any reorganisation of the tax credit system relative to family allowance arrangements whereby family allowances or child tax credits are paid directly to the mother.And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
§ To lie upon the Table.