Tory: Cuts give poor ‘more incentive to breed’

A TORY peer criticised the Government’s child benefit cuts yesterday — saying they gave the poor more incentive to have children than the better-off.

Former party vice-chair Howard Flight told London’s Evening Standard that taking the benefit away from top taxpayers would mean they were “discouraged from breeding”.

“But for those on benefits, there is every incentive. Well, that’s not very sensible,” he told the newspaper.

The remarks were swiftly rejected by Downing Street.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokeswoman said: “He is not a member of the government, he is not a frontbencher, he does not speak for the government and we do not agree with his comments.”

Flight was named just days ago by Cameron as one of several new additions to the Tory ranks in the House of Lords — where he is yet to take his seat.

The ex-MP was forced to resign as vice-chairman after being taped before the 2005 general election suggesting the Tories had secret spending cut plans.

Flight told the Evening Standard: “We’re going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it’s jolly expensive, but for those on benefit there is every incentive. Well, that’s not very sensible.”

The Westminster return of the right-winger, who was barred from defending his Arundel and South Downs seat at the 2005 election by then leader Michael Howard over his cuts comments, has surprised many observers.

He suggested to the newspaper that Cameron had brought him back in recognition his removal at that time was wrong.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Douglas Alexander said: “These shameful but revealing comments cast serious doubt over David Cameron’s judgment in personally appointing Howard Flight to the House of Lords only a few days ago.”

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