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I want a mother's benefit.

By David Willetts   April 1998

I used to be a great admirer of the American Earned Income Tax Credit. It boosts the income of low-income working families and is better targeted than many tax allowances because it is withdrawn as income rises. Indeed, as a member of the No. 10 Policy Unit in the mid-1980s, I helped persuade Margaret Thatcher and Norman Fowler of its virtues. It was proposed in our Green Paper on the reform of social security in June 1985 and, despite being criticised, it survived into the White Paper in December 1985. But as the measure was progressing through parliament in 1986,…

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