'So I have to tell you?': Astonishing moment Nick Ferrari has to tell children's minister how much child allowance is

7 June 2024, 08:38 | Updated: 7 June 2024, 11:20

Minister for Children doesn't know how much child benefit is when put on the spot by Nick Ferrari
Minister for Children doesn't know how much child benefit is when put on the spot by Nick Ferrari. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle de Wolfe

Nick Ferrari has been forced to educate the Minister for Children on government policy after the Tory MP was unable to confirm the current child benefit allowance.

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When asked what the current allowance was, David Johnston, the Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing, was left unable to answer.

"Er... That, I’m afraid, I don’t know; It’s not actually a Department for Education policy," Mr Johnston told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on LBC.

"I should have found out before I came on here," he then conceded.

"Astonishing," Nick replied.

The Conservative candidate for Wantage instead blamed his knowledge gap on his job parameters, claiming the figure was instead the responsibility of another department - the Department for Work and Pensions.

Nick's question came as the Tories pledged to double the threshold for child benefits.

Minister for Children doesn't know child allowance

Informing the minister and listeners of the current allowance, Nick highlighted that the current child benefits allowance was £25.60 for the first child and £16.95 for each additional child.

“Is your title Minister for Children?” questioned Nick.

"It is Minister for Children, yes Nick," Mr Johnson replied.

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“So I have to tell you, as the Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing, what child allowance is? What sort of job do you think you’re doing here, minister?” pushed Nick.

"Well, we don’t run the benefits, I’m afraid. I should have found out before I came on here," he admitted.

Informing the minister and listeners of the current allowance, Nick highlighted that the current child benefits allowance was £25.60 for the first child and £16.95 for each additional child.
Informing the minister and listeners of the current allowance, Nick highlighted that the current child benefits allowance was £25.60 for the first child and £16.95 for each additional child. Picture: Alamy

The new figure would see the threshold raised to £120,000, a threshold that would apply to households instead of individuals under the Tories plan.

It's a figure that the party says would cost around £1.3bn a year.

"It is Minister for Children, yes Nick," Mr Johnston replied.

It comes as Rishi Sunak returned from D-Day commemorations in France early to return to the UK for an interview.

The PM's actions have been widely criticised by fellow MPs after making his way back across the channel to film an election interview.

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