I have been contacted recently about the Child Benefit freeze.

It is unfortunately the case that, at a time when the Government has to reduce welfare spending, tough choices have to be taken. The scale of the deficit the previous Government inherited, as well as the alarming rise in the welfare budget, have made taking control of the welfare bill a priority.

To these ends, the Government announced that the rates of certain working-age benefits will be frozen at their 2015/16 levels for four years up to 2019/20. I have been assured that the Government has carefully considered the impact of these reforms, and that they are part of a broader array of measures designed to rebalance the welfare state to more effectively focus support on the vulnerable.

Together with other welfare reforms, changes to Child Benefit will mean that the welfare system is there for people who need it; a system where work pays, and one that the country can afford. This can be done while continuing to reduce the deficit, so future generations are not simply burdened with our debts.

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