Cameron accuses Brown of undermining the family

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Indy Politics

David Cameron has attacked Gordon Brown's attempts to eradicate poverty, accusing him of "undermining" the family.

Mr Cameron lambasted the Prime Minister over his tax credits system which he said rewarded couples for living apart.

Making a foray into traditional Labour territory, he insisted it was possible to "make British poverty history". Mr Cameron said: "Aspiration is not about class, background or position. Everybody dreams of rising up in the world, and everybody dreams of giving their children a better life. I don't care where you started out in life; my mission is to help you rise higher."

He added: "So, yes, we must help the haves to have more, yes we must back the aspirations of our over-taxed, over-burdened middle classes, but a modern aspiration agenda means helping the have-nots to have something, and if we do not succeed in that mission then I tell you frankly that we will all be poorer."

Mr Cameron said the tax credits system was "clunking", saying: "I do not doubt for one moment Mr Brown's sincere desire to remove the scourge of poverty from our land. But he must see, as we can all now see, that his methods have failed and it is time for change... after 10 years of a government that promised social justice, there are 600,000 more people in deep poverty than when they began."

Peter Hain, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: "The notion the Tories could move more than a million people from benefits into work, in order to fund their tax cuts, without any detailed policy proposals... will be seen for what it is – a massive black hole in their spending plans."

Brendan Barber, the TUC general secretary, said: "Cameron may have strong rhetoric on reducing poverty, but his policies will have the opposite effect."