Michael Gove Accused On Newsnight By Emily Maitlis Of Hiding Truth About Cuts

Michael Gove has refused to rule out cuts to child benefit under a Conservative government, should the party win the general election on May 7.

In an interview with Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis on Tuesday evening, Gove was pressed over where the axe would fall on public spending if David Cameron is reelected prime minister.

Maitlis was unimpressed with Gove's refusal to detail how the Conservatives would pay for extra spending, including £8bn on the NHS, and where the planned spending reductions, including £12bn from the welfare budget, would come from.

"We are none the wiser where that money is coming from," she told him. "People don't know, they don't have a clue.

"If I was a family, who was on welfare, who was desperately worried about disability cuts and where that might come from, I would expect to be told by the party who wanted to be the next government if they were coming down the track or not," Maitlis said.

She added:"You've got three weeks to let people know, do you not trust the electorate enough to tell them?"

Gove insisted voters could trust the Conservative Party based on its economic record over the last five years. And protested that of all the parties, the Conservatives had provided the "greatest degree of clarity" about spending.

"I think the idea any government led by David Cameron would actually make the lives of disabled children or families with disabled members more difficult simply doesn't make sense," he said. "We are not going to hit or take money away from the disabled."

Maitlis demanded to know which areas would be protected and which would not. "And child benefit? There will be no more changes to child benefit?" she asked.

Gove replied: "No I can't say that. Well, It is not our policy at the moment."