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Douglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, has today written to Liberal Democrat ministers Steve Webb, David Heath, Michael Moore and Vince Cable offering early talks on Privy Council terms on how to work together to achieve changes to proposed cuts in child and housing benefit.

All of these ministers - in private comments reported by the Daily Telegraph - have expressed concern about specific aspects of the government's agenda on welfare.

Douglas Alexander MP said:

"I have written today to Lib Dem ministers offering immediate talks in the New Year on Privy Council terms to work together to make the government's welfare policies fairer.

"David Cameron's own ministers are now on record as saying his plans for child benefit are unfair and ill thought through. And his Business Secretary thinks policies are being rushed and not properly implemented.

"Working together we can change complaints expressed in private into public policy changes.

"We have little time to waste as next month the government is bringing forward a welfare bill so I'm offering immediate talks in New Year."

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