From the TUC

Cuts Watch #58: The Future of Child Benefit

11 Jun 2010, by in Cuts Watch

For some time, there have been rumours that the government planned to save money by means-testing Child Benefit.

David Cameron, in his speech to last year’s Conservative conference, promised not to do this and Philip Hammond repeated the promise just before the election. But, as the BBC’s Stephanie Flanders has pointed out, this promise did not appear in the Conservative Manifesto and there was a battle within the Liberal Democrat hierarchy over this issue, making the outcome even more uncertain.

The Conservative-aligned think tank Reform has advocated scrapping Child Benefit and merging it into the tax credit system, and today the centre-right Social Market Foundation called for means-testing. In an interview with today’s Times Frank Field, chair of the Prime Minister’s review of Poverty and Life Chances, argued for higher payments for younger children, balanced by ending entitlement for children aged over 13 or 14.

4 Responses to Cuts Watch #58: The Future of Child Benefit

  1. kathryn a saynor
    Jun 21st 2010, 12:59 am

    When did it ever become mandatory to have children? I must have missed that.
    Why should any one of us—in fact a great majority, inject money to support a situation ( being a parent ) which is in almost all cases a matter of choice.
    I say scrap ALL child support. If you choose to have ’em, take responsibility.

    Savings galore and money better put to use for decent education of those same children.


  2. Rachael
    Jun 22nd 2010, 12:09 pm

    That’s absolutely rediculous. I don’t have children myself, but what you’re saying isn’t right. We could save money in much better places, rather than stunting it for others. So, what about an unplanned pregnancy and not believing in abortions? You cannot cut child benefits.

    And also, you said putting money into a decent education. So theoretically, you’re putting money back into those children that you said don’t deserve money. Education will not improve, no matter what the government promises.

    What about people that smoke/do drugs/overweight.. I think they should pay more taxes are they’re taking a bit chunk of funds with medical bills etc, and that’s surely more by choice than having a child.

  3. kathryn a saynor
    Jun 23rd 2010, 7:49 am

    I absoloutely did NOT say chidren don’t deserve money. I believe children deserve the best start in life they can get.

    I also did NOT say ALL children, as I am, most certainly aware of the issue of unplanned pregnancy. Which, if we are to discuss that issue, begs the point that never, in the history of Mankind, have we had opportunity or accessibility to contraception in the western world, and yet, there is one of the highest rates of “unplanned pregnancies” ever. Should we not call many of them “irresponsible, don’t give a damn I can take amorning after pill, but oh, I can’t be bothered now to go and get it” pregnancies. Or how about, “I really think it’s ok to have as many kids as I want because I will get child support, assist with a place to live, and likely many more benefits.”

    DO NOT ( unless you spent your life on some other planet ) tell me you have not encountered the last. It is well documented we all need a roll in life and for some women motherhood is it.

    Great, if you have the means to pay for it. But why should responsibility not go hand in hand with the joy of children.

    Have ONE child, if you can’t afford more.
    I did, and I am very pleased with the way she has turned out.

    And no, I do not advocate abortion except under the direst of need.
    Take a look at an aborted foetus sometime—-should it not have had the choice?

    Hey, I’m all for discussing these topics ad nauseum but have to run off to work now.

  4. Robbie
    Jul 7th 2010, 12:08 pm

    @kathryn – A major reason why society should “inject money to support a situation ( being a parent ) which is in almost all cases a matter of choice” is because as a society we need to nurture the next generation. Among other things they’ll become the next generation of workers, whose taxes etc will help to look after us in our older non-working years. This has been a fundamental tenet of the welfare state since at least 1948. It is why Child Benefit is not based on whether the parents have paid NI contributions.