Balls: This policy will punish parents

The shadow chancellor criticised the unfairness of the government's proposed changes to the child benefit system:

"That is really, really unfair. These are huge hits to family incomes.

"George Osborne should have thought this through, rather than rushing into mistaken policies.

"It cannot be right that a two-earner family each earning £42,000 would keep all their child benefit, but a single-earner family on £43,000 would lose it all at a stroke."

"This will penalise parents who are working and trying to do the right thing, but cannot increase their working hours at a time when the economy is flatlining and unemployment rising."