July Budget to slash child benefit?

1 June 2015

child saving moneyWe already know that much-loved Chancellor George Osborne is delivering another Budget on July 8, one not tempered by upcoming election fears, but what we don’t yet know is what might be contained within that little red box. However, ‘leaked’ reports now suggest that George and Iain Duncan Smith have found a way to shave a further £12bn from the welfare budget- by slashing child benefit

Child benefit was always a universal benefit, paid to everyone with children, regardless of means. However, during the last Parliament, the benefit was withdrawn where one parent earns more than £60,000, and reduced where one parent earns between £50,000 and £60,000. Those earning above the threshold can either disclaim their entitlement, or pay it back on a tax return. Where both parents earn £49,999, the family will receive full benefit.

Currently, for those still entitled, the rates have been frozen at £20.70 per week for the first child and £13.70 for every subsequent child, and it is these figures that the Government is said to be looking to adjust. Mr Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, has apparently been modelling the effects of several different variations of cuts ahead of next month’s Budget. The main proposals are to reduce the extra amount paid for the first child, and to limit the amount of children for whom the benefit will be paid.

The modelling will consider reducing the child benefit paid for a first child from £20.70 a week down to the ‘standard’ £13.70. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) calculates this would save the Treasury £2.5bn a year-as well as cutting £360 a year from every qualifying family with children.

Another item under consideration, which has been mooted for some time, is plans to cap the number of children for which child benefit is paid. Both David Cameron and Mr Duncan Smith are said to be in favour of a cap at two children, which would save around £1bn a year. Alternatively, a cap at three children could be considered, although the savings would obviously come in at less than £1bn, making a less than impressive dent in the £10.5bn savings the Government has been charged with finding.

The government has already announced plans to freeze working-age benefits for two years and thescrapping of housing benefit for the under-21s. Last week’s Queen’s speech outlined plans to lower the benefit cap from £26,000 a year to £23,000, a move which some say will put an additional 40,000 children into poverty.

But what do you think? A government source says the (unconfirmed) move is “about achieving behaviour change” and that by limiting the amount of children who qualify for child benefit “you send a message where people have to think: can I afford another child?” But is the availability of a little over £700 a year really a paramount consideration in having another child?

TOPICS:   Government

17 comments

  • me
    Iain Duncan Smith is a complete A**HOLE
  • Bob h.
    Screw kids to be honest, we need to make some savings and this is a great area to start the cuts.
  • Han S.
    Why is the benefit cap more than you would get on a job that pays minimum wage? Surely it should be less, I earn less in a full time job than the benefit cap and I get paid more than minimum wage. Benefits are far too much and are subsidised by hard working people, why should I be going out to work, pay my taxes and earn kess than if I sit on my arse at home? And I'm a Labour voter by the way.
  • Mike H.
    To be fair why should the state be sponsoring children. £13.70 seems reasonable per child (max 2) with a view to completely removing child benefit in 5-10 years. I would go further and say you need to apply for a license to have children.
  • shiftynifity
    Some very shifty responses posted
  • Albi
    2010 all over again. Get the cuts in early and then the peasants will have forgotten 5 years down the road. And it worked.
  • JonB
    I don't mind cuts if they are fair. The nonsense of removing child benefit if one person earns more than £60k yet keeping it if 2 people earn £49,999 each (£99,998 total), as well as the fact that they'll pay less tax per pound earned, is not fair. The government seems hell bent on getting every parent to work so that it can keep kids in childcare for some reason. It's as if they think parents aren't the best people to look after their own children.
  • me
    Same old tories, feed the rich, starve the poor. Are the Tories planning to give millionaires another tax break while slashing child benefit and further more crippling council cuts? https://www.facebook.com/labourparty/videos/10152722736507411/
  • Big M.
    Just simply send your children to Eton, everything else will fall into place.
  • Jessie J.
    Lets stop the 'real' benefit cheats first. There are people out there that need help. My mum 58, just had an op on her spine/neck. Consultant told her 2 years to fully recover. 2 weeks later dole want to see her at a 'Back to work' workshop. Lad over the road from me 28, never done a days work 3/4/5 kids sucking up benefits like he has a right to it. Instead of a blanket everyone on benefits is a scrounger why not really look at the person making the claim. Also target the crims who are claiming different benefits in different places. Then put a two kid benefit cap on child benefit and be done with it. Its not about the money, money, money.
  • me
    The side-street lights go off at midnight, and all I got from my local MP and council was 'Well, the main-road lights stay on all night dont they?' It's a joke! Our council tax creeps up and the government are just creeps!
  • Celebrity S.
    Cameron stood up on national TV and pledged many times that child benefits would be safe if the Tories were elected, and guess what ?...he lied ,now here`s hoping that all those idiots that voted for him are happy now because this is just the beginning . Tighten your belts you hard working families.
  • Father J.
    Law of averages even applies to the Tories - have enough shit ideas and eventually you'll have one half-decent one! It's about time this happened: you want kids? Fucking well pay for them then.
  • jann b.
    Need to monitor the child benefit and stop those that dont live in the UK continue claiming it after the arrival of a child. Why dont the use the school registers to monitor the kids that live in the UK, reduce it for 2 kids and down to the same price for each kid (not more for the 1st) then they will make huge savings. So many families need that money each month to survive
  • dvdgremlin
    it's good to see that the mood of people has changed and that most people approve of the cuts. as for tax cuts for millionaires, how stupid are you ? read the figures, 50% and more taxation REDUCES the amount of tax taken into government. It does not increase revenue. Also the proposed cuts to child benefit are not thought to be for existing claimants but for new ones. similarly, its not poverty, it's RELATIVE poverty which doesn't match mr Mof G's politics so he shades what's written here for a political point.
  • Alf H.
    I sense there will be tattoo parlours and piercing salons going out of business all across the country after this.
  • hellrazer
    WE are going to be stitched up yet again by this government !!! the silver spoon born f******. ITS ABOUT TIME THEY TOOK CARE OF EVERY BRITISH PERSON HERE AT HOME IN ENGLAND. I WATCHED A BBC PROGRAME LAST YEAR ABOUT A FOREIGN WOMAN WHO LIVES IN HER OWN EUROPEAN COUNTRY WHILE HER HUSBAND WORKS IN THE UK AND SHE GETS CHILD BENEFIT OF £20.70 A WEEK AND £68 A WEEK CHILD TAX CREDITS !!!! THE HUSBAND ALSO EARNS MINIMUM WAGE AND GETS WORKING TAX CREDITS OF £400 PER MONTH ...CAN YOU BLOODY BELIVE IT .. NO WONDER THIS GOV IS HAVING TO MAKE SAVINGS ...SO MY MESSAGE TO THE SILVER SPOONED A******* THAT RUN OUR COUNTRY IS AS FOLLOWS STOP SENDING OUR TAX MONEY ALL OVER THE WORLD , STOP CHILD BENEFIT AT 3 KIDS , STOP ROBBING THE POOR AND DISSABLED TO KEEP THE RICH HAPPY . START LOOKING AFTER OUR OWN COUNTRY BEFOR ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE . BECAUSE ITS ON ITS WAY IF THEY KEEP HITTING THE POOR.......AFTERALL GOING TO JAIL BECAUSE YOU CANT AFORD TO FEED ,HEAT YOUR HOME OR PUT CLOTHES ON YOUR BACK WILL BE SEEN AS A BETTER OPTION IN MOST PEOPLES EYES .....AND I HAVE HERD ALOTT OFF PEOPLE SAY THAT LIFE WOULD BE BETTER IN JAIL FOR THE ABOVE REASONS NO WONDER OUR JAILS ARE SO FULL ..... AND THATS ANOTHER THING WHEN ARE WE GOING TO SEND PRISONERS BACK TO THEIR OWN COUNTRIES AS OUR PRISONS ARE BUSTING AT THE SEEMS WITH FOREIGNERS WHO COME TO ENGLAND AND COMIT CRIMES...GOSH I COULD GO ON AND ON ,BUT I WONT .....

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