A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids

Alex Hern reveals star Tory Harriet Baldwin’s “questions” about whether poor parents ought to be punished for having too many children.

Convervative MP Harriett Baldwin, elected as part of David Cameron’s hand-picked “A-list” to represent West Worcestershire, has called for “a discussion” on whether out of work people with four children should get any child benefit or child tax credits if they have a fifth child.

Speaking on Radio Five this morning (00:05 to 00:15), Baldwin said:

“Does it really make sense if you’ve already got four children and have never been in work to take on the responsibility of bringing another child into the world?

“A lot of people would think long and hard about “can we afford to have another kid”, and I think it is worth thinking long and hard about implementing this approach they have in the States.

“The discussion point that I’ve put out there is that once you’ve had four kids – and i think that four kids is a huge responsibility for anybody – you’re going to think long and hard about ‘can I afford to have an additional mouth to feed?‘”

Doubtless, Baldwin will use her language of “discussion” and “talking points” to argue that she is only asking questions, but she still states as fact things which are nothing but.

For instance, she wrote on Conservative Home:

“Twenty two US states used the “family cap” to rule that any family on state welfare is not eligible for any additional support for children conceived while on state benefits.

“If those who are in a workless household were told that they would not receive additional benefits for any new babies until such time as the household has a wage-earner, work incentives would be stronger.”

In fact, as the Cornell Law Review states:

Social science research indicates that welfare recipients do not base their child-bearing decisions on receipt of welfare benefits, thus rendering questionable the effectiveness of family caps in deterring welfare recipients from having more children.

Baldwin also accepted on Radio Five that it was an “important question” as to whether such measures would harm children.

Again, if she’d researched these “questions” a bit before publicly asking them, she’d have found the answers.

Cornell Law Review, again, confirms:

By reducing the benefits families receive to satisfy basic necessities, family caps are also likely to exacerbate the many mental and physical health problems that children in poverty are already at increased risk of developing.

Baldwin does not want to “ask questions”, or “have a discussion”. She wants to punish children for the decisions of their parents.

Also today, the Times confirmed what we reported on two weeks ago: that Osborne will not increase benefit payments in line with September’sinflation of 5.2%.

What will he spend the money on? Fuel duty:

The Times has learnt that key ministers, including Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, have agreed that 5.7 million people claiming benefits for the unemployed will each lose hundreds of pounds a year.

The savings are likely to go towards the Government’s ambition to scrap the planned 3p-a-litre rise in petrol in January, which would cost £1.5 billion. George Osborne, the Chancellor, is anxious to keep to his deficit reduction plan and is said to be putting further pressure on Mr Duncan Smith’s £200 billion welfare budget.

Like an anti-Robin Hood, this government seems intent on taking from the poor to give to the rich.

See also:

How poor children will get poorer on Cameron’s watchDr Sam Royston, October 11th 2011

Misleading to claim welfare reform will cut child poverty levelsNicola Smith, February 22nd 2011

Housing benefit changes even more unfair than child benefit cutsPete Challis, October 11th 2010

Ten policy headaches for the government on child benefitSunder Katwala, October 5th 2010

Child benefit cuts will result in a worse deal for the poorRichard Exell, May 14th 2010

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37 Responses to “A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids”

  1. Matt Tysoe

    It should be two children. We are overpopulated as it is and our education system is buckling. Why do I pay my taxes just so people can eb paid to have sex and get pregnant over and over again? ABOUT TIME PEOPLE SHOWED SOME RESPONSIBILITY.

  2. Newsbot9

    So what, a policy like China’s? Ah yes, the Totalitarians crawl out the woodwork on this issue.

    If you want people to have fewer kids, give them a deacent pension.

  3. Gojoke

    This Baldwin person is clearly a complete idiot and should remove herself from public life.

  4. Sue Davies

    RT @TheRightArticle A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids – http://t.co/EZBtEhzj. Good grief.

  5. Anonymous

    This topic is a bit like immigration – difficult to discuss without triggering entrenched ideological positions.

    However…., if we have a housing crisis, massive youth unemployment and are struggling to tackle climate change, over fishing and species extinction generally, do we not have to think carefully about factors affecting population size. Now that’s not to say that the narrow minded twoddle of some privileged Tory is worth listening to of course. For me, the way to go is to move to a much less unequal society and a world class education system along the lines of the Nordic model. A relatively dysfunctional society like America is probably not the place to look for ideas!

  6. Matthewfox

    Typical response from a party in trouble.

  7. Steve Preston

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/eHSHpY3E Where do these people come from?

  8. Kevin Richards

    "How disgusting Political sterilisation"leftfoot: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/nxNcuth0

  9. VeeBee

    http://t.co/6bnT76Jk @Kareneatstories here it is

  10. Karen

    Children in need? http://t.co/S9SuTpJi it could be you. #CIN

  11. Alan Gibbons

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/jjJOxglk A whiff about the Thirties here.

  12. Mr. Sensible

    “Social science research indicates that welfare recipients do not base their child-bearing decisions on receipt of welfare benefits, thus rendering questionable the effectiveness of family caps in deterring welfare recipients from having more children.Type your comment here.”

    I think I read on the BBC News Website an admission of that from Baldwin herself!

    And I think it is a disgrace that the government is redistributing billions away from those who need it to a headline-grabbing decision to scrap the fuel duty increase. After all, Osborne’s 1P cut in fuel duty had so much of an impact didn’t it… A better idea would be to cut VAT to 17.5%.

  13. Labour Local Gov

    Tory Harriet Baldwin’s “questions” about whether poor parents ought to be punished for having too many children. http://t.co/75i4YowA

  14. Keltis

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/0ylQNkKD

  15. Tim

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/ZQ0iZRQN

  16. Pink Politika

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/0ylQNkKD

  17. Jeni Parsons

    RT @leftfootfwd: how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/3GWulu5M #otmp occupylondon Swift's proposal next?

  18. Peterloo

    RT @leftfootfwd: how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/3GWulu5M #otmp occupylondon Swift's proposal next?

  19. DJE

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/dwqgRGrK

  20. Wildey

    RT @leftfootfwd: how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/3GWulu5M #otmp occupylondon Swift's proposal next?

  21. Kim

    Anagram of #HarrietBaldwin is Wind Breath Liar! http://t.co/W0gVcHI5

  22. Psyborg9

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/DEGloS2h

  23. donald james pearl

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/oo2lUASV

  24. Tanya

    Matt- you don’t pay taxes so that “people can be paid to have sex and get pregnant over an over again.” We, (those who can currently afford them) pay taxes to help ensure that children aren’t left in poverty, regardless of the actions of their parents. No?

  25. 12kazuko12

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/eHSHpY3E Where do these people come from?

  26. 12kazuko12

    "If she’d researched these “questions” a bit before publicly asking them, she’d have found the answers" http://t.co/BKKtTPZh

  27. Ian Cruise

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/XUBiDPf0

  28. Look Left – Tories past and present battle to out-nasty each other | Left Foot Forward

    […] Tory leader no less – that you probably won’t have heard of and wouldn’t want to hear from: Harriett Baldwin. In an interview on Radio Five, and a blog on Conservative Home, she said poor people should be […]

  29. Kasch Wilder

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/mc6z9hHw

  30. Ros Kayes

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/mc6z9hHw

  31. John

    “Social science research indicates that welfare recipients do not base their child-bearing decisions on receipt of welfare benefits, thus rendering questionable the effectiveness of family caps in deterring welfare recipients from having more children.”

    What social science research would that be?

    I was born and raised on a council estate in one of the most deprived areas of the country (& possibly Europe) and I know several families who have done exactly that – and with ruthless, calculated precision too. Two of my sisters did it and said that’s what they were going to do beforehand! One even dumped her first three children’s father because he wanted to get a job.

    Please, if you’re going to start throwing the word ‘research’ around, as if it adds some academic weight to an opinion, give us a link to that research.

  32. John

    Sorry, just read the article properly!

  33. Diane Lawrence

    RT @leftfootfwd: A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids http://t.co/HQSZ1G0u

  34. Laurencemead

    The worlds population can’t go on growing and growing. Solution; we have less kids. Basic logical step ; The Govt. stops supporting and encouraging people to have more children. No child support past 2 children from 9 months time (yes, except for some means tested basic (and I mean basic) payment to keep children from starving and keep a roof over there heads – maybe food stamps not cash)

  35. Could the welfare bill signal the death of social housing? | Left Foot Forward

    […] A-list Tory ‘asks’ how we can stop the poor from having too many kids – Alex Hern, November 18th […]

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