Pensions and welfare

Mike Wood: What steps the Government is taking to give parents a greater say in access to holiday and wrap-around care.


Sam Gyimah The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Moving more of HMRC’s work out of central London, which has some of the world’s most expensive office space, will enable it to make substantial savings. It is right that HMRC makes whatever savings it can on its property costs so that the money that it does have can be used to improve customer service and maximise tax revenues. It cannot be sustainable for its 58,000 full-time employees to be spread across 170 offices around the country, many of which, as has been, said are little more than a legacy of the 1960s and 1970s. That is highly inefficient.

Mike Wood: Everybody who has had any contact with the adoption process will be familiar with the frustration that unnecessary delays cause prospective parents. Will the Prime Minister take action to speed up the adoption process so that more children can be placed with the right families much more quickly?


David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Mike Wood: Does my hon. Friend agree that a basic test of the fairness of this package would be for its painful parts, such as the threshold reduction, not to be introduced quicker than its more positive elements, including the living wage, personal allowance increases and other benefits?


Stephen McPartland Conservative, Stevenage

Mike Wood: There seems to be an omission from the list of measures that the right hon. Gentleman supports. Will he clarify whether the Labour party will support the measures to limit child tax credits to two children, and whether that will still be the party’s position in October?


Stephen Timms (Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions))

Mike Wood: Despite the progress that has been made during the past five years, too many children of disabled parents remain in poverty. Will my right hon. Friend assure us that the Government will continue to work to help more disabled people into work—and well-paid work—so that such children can look forward to better outcomes?


Iain Duncan Smith The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions