The deputy prime minister told Sky News Sunrise that the government is committed to making child benefit fairer:
"The chancellor will announce the budget – obviously we're still working away at it in the government so it would be silly of me to start pronouncing now before everything is really decided.
"But I think we have been very open as a government that it is right that people at the top who earn much more than people with average incomes should be asked to make an extra sacrifice and that it is justifiable to say that people at the top don't receive child benefit in the way people do on ordinary incomes.
"But we're also equally accepting that there's also an issue about how you do that so you make sure you don't create unintended consequences where, say, a family with one earner gets child benefit removal when there's another family with income earners who actually collectively earn more but keep the benefit."
"I've been very clear about my overwhelming … priority, and that is to give tax cuts to the vast majority of taxpayers on low incomes and on ordinary incomes by raising the point at which they start paying income tax.
"It's the vast majority of people who I believe deserve a tax break, because times are tough."