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Christian MP praises coalition on mid-term review

Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have appeared together at Downing Street insisting the coalition is "steadfast and united".

In his mid-term review Mr Cameron said the challenges have been great, but they are making progress.

He said:

"In just two and a half years, we've cut the deficit by a quarter and set out a credible path towards our goal of a balanced budget.

"The economy is rebalancing; there are over a million new private sector jobs."

Standing next to the PM, Mr Clegg said:

"We are dealing with the deficit, rebuilding the economy, reforming welfare and education and supporting hard-working families through tough times.

"And on all of these key aims, our parties, after 32 months of coalition, remain steadfast and united."

Premier's Political Editor Martyn Eden told the News Hour it is inevitable the pair have their ups and downs.

The PM and his deputy promised they're going full steam ahead for the remaining two and a half years of their coalition partnership.

Mr Cameron said there will be a series of announcements over the next few weeks including more help for families, help towards the cost of long-term care for the elderly, and help with getting on the property ladder.

Former Conservative Cabinet Minister, Michael Portillo, said the pair needed to show a united front.

He said:

"If they're going to get any credit for all the tough decisions they've taken; they're going to have to stand shoulder-to-shoulder on those issues."

Andrew Selous MP, who's also Parliamentary Private Secretary to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, defended the coalition's ongoing agenda to Premier's Des Busteed:

Critics are slamming today's announcment, coming on the day the government also slashed child benefits.

Anyone earning over £50,000 will lose some of their child benefit. If you hit £60,000 you lose it all.

But defending today's cut to child benefit, Mr Cameron said 85% of families would get the payments in "exactly the way they do now".

However, Dan Boucher who's the Director of Parliamentary Affairs for Christian charity CARE, tells Premier's News Hour why he thinks the changes don't add up for the poorest families:

Labour is criticising the coalition's record, with Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rachel Reeves, saying families up and down the country have seen taxes go up, particularly VAT and they've seen tax credits cut.

Meanwhile, Lord Strathclyde has resigned as Leader of the House of Lords.

The 52-year-old peer told Mr Cameron in a letter that he wants to return to his career in the private sector.

He's been replaced by Lord Hill of Oareford, who also becomes Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and a member of the Privy Council.

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