Osborne emphasises child benefit reforms are ‘fair’

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The long-running controversy over the Government's plans to cut child benefit for higher earners took another twist this week, as Chancellor George Osborne argued that the reforms are "fair".

Ed Balls, Labour's shadow chancellor, questioned Mr Osborne about the reforms in the Commons.

He said that the child benefit changes could see single-earner families on £43,000 lose out on the benefit, while two-income families earning £84,000 will be able to get it.

In response, Mr Osborne said: "I think it is fair to ask those in the top 15% of the income distribution to make a contribution to the fiscal consolidation."

MPs also discussed what the Chancellor might be planning to include in his Budget later this month.

It has been speculated that the Budget could contain plans to water down the Coalition's reforms to the child benefit system, or proposals to amend the 50p top rate of income tax.

Business Secretary Vince Cable recently indicated that the removal of the 50p tax rate would lead to the introduction of a new levy on wealth instead.

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