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Child benefit to go for the affluent?


woolybanana

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There seem to be rumours that various benefits might be axed or taxed for the so called wealthy, notably child benefit. Good idea?

How about paying benefit for, say, the first two children only in any family set up?

Or limiting the total amount of benefit which a family can receive per annum?

Would France dare do the same?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/gill-hornby/6418244/Child-benefit-is-a-treat-for-affluent-parents.html

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I have several thoughts on this! Unfortunately some of my thoughts are not always congruent with my other thoughts! Thank goodness I am not a politician!

Fundamentally, I believe that all state benefits should go to those that need it and not to those who don't. There lieth the problem. Define "need". Clearly, those on and beneath the poverty line "need" the benefits and people like those in the article who are "saving the child benefit for university" or spending it on "spa trips, Joseph and mini-boden" do not "need" it.

The problem is how the government can differentiate between the two. It's not quite as easy as just setting income thresholds for benefits - a net income of £x,000s in London is not going to go as far as the same net income in many other parts of the country.

Another problem is that if the threshold for receiving child benefit is too low then it may work out cheaper for one of the parents to not work at all - the UK has seen this happening with other benefits over the last 20 years.

As the journalist has pointed out, this is not just about child benefit but other benefits like winter fuel allowance. I do believe that winter fuel allowance should be means tested (net income) as I believe that it is ridiculous for the government to be paying my grandfather a winter fuel allowance when he has more monthly income than he knows what to do with in his old age. The same goes for my late grandmother who lived until she was 90, recieving winter fuel assistance since its inception.

Again, it's down to define "need"!

Back to Child Benefit and you ask if "paying benefit for, say, the first two children only in any family set-up"? France only pays child benefit (Allocations famialle) if you have 2 or more children. France's approach to an ageing population is to encourage larger families.

woolybanana, it's a complex question and I'm so glad I'm not a politician.

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[quote user="Benjamin"]I posted earlier on the Blue Badge thread that some towns let badge holders park without paying.

Why? Qualifying for a blue badge doesn't entail being poor and unable to afford parking fees.



[/quote]

No, but it may well impede someone's ability to earn as much as others.
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