HC Deb 25 January 2000 vol 343 c131
2. Mr. Bill Tynan (Hamilton, South)

What steps the Government are taking to publicise the working families tax credit in Scotland. [104928]

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Dr. John Reid)

We have launched a major press and media campaign to inform those who will benefit from the working families tax credit of their right to assistance. As a result, the helpline has received more than 45,000 inquiries in Scotland alone.

Mr. Tynan

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, and on behalf of 2,089 families in my constituency I want to express gratitude for the introduction of the working families tax credit—which will make those families, on average, £1,250 better-off this year than last. Will my right hon. Friend give the House a commitment that the Government will continue to do all they can to publicise the working families tax credit, so as to ensure maximum take-up?

Dr. Reid

Yes, I can assure my hon. Friend of that. We are proud of the fact that this Labour Government are the first ever to have committed themselves to the abolition of poverty. The working families tax credit plays a major part in that effort, as do the minimum wage and our assistance to pensioners. It is significant that, every time the great issue of tackling poverty is raised in the House, there is a complete lack of response from Opposition Members. Today, not one Conservative or Scottish National party Member has attempted to participate in discussion of poverty or the working families tax credit.

Mr. Ian Davidson (Glasgow, Pollok)

Does my right hon. Friend accept that the best thing—

Madam Speaker

Order. I am calling question 3.