HAVE YOUR SAY: Will you be affected by child benefit changes?

First published in News

The coalition Government came under a sustained attack today for a raft of welfare reforms that critics claim are punishing the poor and hitting women hardest.

A senior child protection figure warned that record numbers of children would be taken away from their families as the impact of public-sector cuts and benefits changes hammered home.

Anthony Douglas, chief executive of Cafcass, the organisation that represents children in care cases, told the Independent he feared the number of cases could rise by up to 8%.

He added: ''Given what we know about the association between poverty deprivation and care, the increase in economic difficulties can take away the margins of support for people who are just managing to keep things together.

''Often quite small amounts of support can make all the difference. So I think that there is a risk of underestimating the way in which this support can keep some families going.''

Meanwhile, Labour claimed cuts to child benefit that came into effect at midnight, combined with a three-year benefits and tax credits squeeze, was a ''huge assault'' on millions of working families.

Research compiled by the Commons library for the shadow equalities minister Yvette Cooper shows 4.6 million women who receive child tax credit directly will be hit by a cap on welfare increases, according to the Guardian.

It comes as the Child Poverty Action Group published a report claiming changes to the way government is uprating benefits is a ''poverty-producing'' move that further hit the poorest.

The charity warns that while pensioners have been given a triple lock guarantee of a notable rise, the worst off will face a ''double lockout'' that ''cuts them loose from the cost of living and the mainstream of society''.

Chancellor George Osborne announced last year annual rises in most working-age benefits are to be capped at 1%, cutting a further £3.7 billion from the welfare bill, but insisted he would protect the vulnerable by continuing to increase carer benefits and disability benefits in line with inflation.

The charity warns levelling the cap over each of the next three years would amount to a 4% real terms cut in benefits on top of £18bn of already announced cuts.

It found welfare spending on workless families has been falling and warned under the changes absolute and relative child poverty will increase.

CPAG chief executive Alison Garnham said: ''It's wrong to punish the poorest and most disadvantaged in our society by cutting social security protection every time growth targets are missed while the better-off are protected.

''It really would be politics of the worst kind if, as reported, this bill has been laid to create a political dividing line - we are talking about real lives, not political games.

''Depicting the neighbour with drawn curtains in the morning as a 'scrounger' to be scorned is a dangerous game to play. You may find it is a sick or disabled person, whose curtains are only drawn when their carer arrives, or a nurse who just got to bed after her night shift.

''This is a poverty-producing bill that does nothing to reduce the need for support.''

Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday defended cuts to child benefit payments, which will see families with one earner on more than £50,000 lose some or all of the payment while households with two parents with salaries just under the trigger keep theirs, insisting the move was ''fundamentally fair''.

Will you be affected by the changes? Let us know in the comments.  Please note our new guidelines for commenters here.

Comments (18)

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10:22am Mon 7 Jan 13

speedy231278 says...

£50K a year income is more than enough for a household with several healthy, able bodied kids. If it's not enough, then frankly they're either piddling money up the wall on frivolous stuff pretending to be posh, or they've bred beyond their means, in which case they should have tied a knot in it. On the other hand, capping benefit based on earnings or the level of benefits received where a severely disabled or handicapped family member or members is/are concerned is a very dangerous idea as you would have to assess each case individually. Care is a very expensive commodity. Forcing family members who are carers back to work actually costs the taxpayer in the long term, because they then need carers to look after the kids instead of doing it themselves, and that costs more to the state than carer's allowances!
£50K a year income is more than enough for a household with several healthy, able bodied kids. If it's not enough, then frankly they're either piddling money up the wall on frivolous stuff pretending to be posh, or they've bred beyond their means, in which case they should have tied a knot in it. On the other hand, capping benefit based on earnings or the level of benefits received where a severely disabled or handicapped family member or members is/are concerned is a very dangerous idea as you would have to assess each case individually. Care is a very expensive commodity. Forcing family members who are carers back to work actually costs the taxpayer in the long term, because they then need carers to look after the kids instead of doing it themselves, and that costs more to the state than carer's allowances! speedy231278
  • Score: 0

10:34am Mon 7 Jan 13

twynham says...

In 2012 do we really need to be subsidising people to have kids?
In 2012 do we really need to be subsidising people to have kids? twynham
  • Score: 0

10:38am Mon 7 Jan 13

twynham says...

Ooops! 2013.
Ooops! 2013. twynham
  • Score: 0

11:07am Mon 7 Jan 13

Branksome Boy says...

Why should a couple jointly earning 98,000 annually receive child benefit and yet a couple with just one income of 50,000 lose theirs? It's perverse and typical of this government. Any "family" bringing home after tax more than 30.000 shouldn't receive child benefit. Sorry but times are tough!
Why should a couple jointly earning 98,000 annually receive child benefit and yet a couple with just one income of 50,000 lose theirs? It's perverse and typical of this government. Any "family" bringing home after tax more than 30.000 shouldn't receive child benefit. Sorry but times are tough! Branksome Boy
  • Score: 0

11:10am Mon 7 Jan 13

Hessenford says...

I have managed to bring up my children all my life on below average wage because I have lived by my means, it really annoys me to see others who have never worked getting thousands of pounds more than me because they play the benefit system, if I can manage on below average wage why do these folk need double, I welcome the changes for a more fairer society.
I have managed to bring up my children all my life on below average wage because I have lived by my means, it really annoys me to see others who have never worked getting thousands of pounds more than me because they play the benefit system, if I can manage on below average wage why do these folk need double, I welcome the changes for a more fairer society. Hessenford
  • Score: 0

11:16am Mon 7 Jan 13

buickboy says...

Modern day child benefit started out as child allowance, back in the days when women had little or no access to contraception and were expected to provide sex on demand within the confines of marriage.
A lot of working men spent their wages in the pub on pay day and if it hadn't been for child allowance many chilldren (and mothers) would have starved to death.
Nowadays with unlimited access to and understanding of contraception there is no reason for any woman to become pregnant if she doesn't want to ( with the exception of a very small number of births as a result of sexual assault and even then the decision to have the child is up to the mother)
Therefore why should the taxpayer have to subsidise the lifestyle choices of others?
I'd like to own an expensive car but the government won't help me out with purchase and running costs, nor would I expect them to, same thing !
I and many others think the time has come for people to take responsibility for their actions and choices, stand on their own two feet.
It's time to abolish all child benefits,
the bottom line is if you can't feed them, don't breed them
Modern day child benefit started out as child allowance, back in the days when women had little or no access to contraception and were expected to provide sex on demand within the confines of marriage. A lot of working men spent their wages in the pub on pay day and if it hadn't been for child allowance many chilldren (and mothers) would have starved to death. Nowadays with unlimited access to and understanding of contraception there is no reason for any woman to become pregnant if she doesn't want to ( with the exception of a very small number of births as a result of sexual assault and even then the decision to have the child is up to the mother) Therefore why should the taxpayer have to subsidise the lifestyle choices of others? I'd like to own an expensive car but the government won't help me out with purchase and running costs, nor would I expect them to, same thing ! I and many others think the time has come for people to take responsibility for their actions and choices, stand on their own two feet. It's time to abolish all child benefits, the bottom line is if you can't feed them, don't breed them buickboy
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Mon 7 Jan 13

sea poole says...

buickboy -Bit difficult to 'send 'em back' if you've been made redundant...
buickboy -Bit difficult to 'send 'em back' if you've been made redundant... sea poole
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Repo says...

Branksome Boy wrote:
Why should a couple jointly earning 98,000 annually receive child benefit and yet a couple with just one income of 50,000 lose theirs? It's perverse and typical of this government. Any "family" bringing home after tax more than 30.000 shouldn't receive child benefit. Sorry but times are tough!
Because 2 people earning up to the threshold would contribute nearly £10000 a year more back into the tax system.
[quote][p][bold]Branksome Boy[/bold] wrote: Why should a couple jointly earning 98,000 annually receive child benefit and yet a couple with just one income of 50,000 lose theirs? It's perverse and typical of this government. Any "family" bringing home after tax more than 30.000 shouldn't receive child benefit. Sorry but times are tough![/p][/quote]Because 2 people earning up to the threshold would contribute nearly £10000 a year more back into the tax system. Repo
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Melanie.Read12 says...

Repo wrote:
Branksome Boy wrote:
Why should a couple jointly earning 98,000 annually receive child benefit and yet a couple with just one income of 50,000 lose theirs? It's perverse and typical of this government. Any "family" bringing home after tax more than 30.000 shouldn't receive child benefit. Sorry but times are tough!
Because 2 people earning up to the threshold would contribute nearly £10000 a year more back into the tax system.
I agree Repo - the taxable contributions made to the Treasury are more for a couple jointly earning £98k, than for one person up the threshold. It's easy to lose sight of that, with the politicizing of the issue.
I'm not arguing the right and wrongs of the changes however - that is for someone more knowledgeable than myself.
[quote][p][bold]Repo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Branksome Boy[/bold] wrote: Why should a couple jointly earning 98,000 annually receive child benefit and yet a couple with just one income of 50,000 lose theirs? It's perverse and typical of this government. Any "family" bringing home after tax more than 30.000 shouldn't receive child benefit. Sorry but times are tough![/p][/quote]Because 2 people earning up to the threshold would contribute nearly £10000 a year more back into the tax system.[/p][/quote]I agree Repo - the taxable contributions made to the Treasury are more for a couple jointly earning £98k, than for one person up the threshold. It's easy to lose sight of that, with the politicizing of the issue. I'm not arguing the right and wrongs of the changes however - that is for someone more knowledgeable than myself. Melanie.Read12
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Mon 7 Jan 13

MikeFrench says...

Try living on less than 4K a year with each prescription item costing £7.65p
Try living on less than 4K a year with each prescription item costing £7.65p MikeFrench
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Repo says...

MikeFrench wrote:
Try living on less than 4K a year with each prescription item costing £7.65p
sounds terrible. why do you live on £4k a year ?
[quote][p][bold]MikeFrench[/bold] wrote: Try living on less than 4K a year with each prescription item costing £7.65p[/p][/quote]sounds terrible. why do you live on £4k a year ? Repo
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Mon 7 Jan 13

MikeFrench says...

Repo wrote:
MikeFrench wrote:
Try living on less than 4K a year with each prescription item costing £7.65p
sounds terrible. why do you live on £4k a year ?
Due to injury, unable to work....
[quote][p][bold]Repo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MikeFrench[/bold] wrote: Try living on less than 4K a year with each prescription item costing £7.65p[/p][/quote]sounds terrible. why do you live on £4k a year ?[/p][/quote]Due to injury, unable to work.... MikeFrench
  • Score: 0

5:16pm Mon 7 Jan 13

EGHH says...

If you can't afford kids don't have any. Simple as that.
If you can't afford kids don't have any. Simple as that. EGHH
  • Score: 0

6:06pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Branksome Boy says...

In that case are the children of the middleclasses prepared to become roadsweepers,binmen, careworkers etc.. no probably not. They will want to be lawyers,doctors,teac
hers etc.. So who in years to come will be doing all the low paid jobs because the low paid workers won't be able to afford to have children on the minimum wage!!
In that case are the children of the middleclasses prepared to become roadsweepers,binmen, careworkers etc.. no probably not. They will want to be lawyers,doctors,teac hers etc.. So who in years to come will be doing all the low paid jobs because the low paid workers won't be able to afford to have children on the minimum wage!! Branksome Boy
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Jetwasher says...

MikeFrench wrote:
Repo wrote:
MikeFrench wrote:
Try living on less than 4K a year with each prescription item costing £7.65p
sounds terrible. why do you live on £4k a year ?
Due to injury, unable to work....
Just sign the back of the perscription pick a box and tick it , most of the boxs say something along the lines of on the dole, hand it in pick up your perscription free, most chemists don't give a toss what you put on the back as its all business for them, and if your earning 4k a year you should def get it for free
[quote][p][bold]MikeFrench[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Repo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MikeFrench[/bold] wrote: Try living on less than 4K a year with each prescription item costing £7.65p[/p][/quote]sounds terrible. why do you live on £4k a year ?[/p][/quote]Due to injury, unable to work....[/p][/quote]Just sign the back of the perscription pick a box and tick it , most of the boxs say something along the lines of on the dole, hand it in pick up your perscription free, most chemists don't give a toss what you put on the back as its all business for them, and if your earning 4k a year you should def get it for free Jetwasher
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Mo51 says...

Mike French - With your income you are entitled to free prescriptions, contact your local family practitioner, I think you can can get a form from pharmacies to apply. They will send you a card which you present each time you get a prescription filled,
Mike French - With your income you are entitled to free prescriptions, contact your local family practitioner, I think you can can get a form from pharmacies to apply. They will send you a card which you present each time you get a prescription filled, Mo51
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Mon 7 Jan 13

s-pb2 says...

EGHH wrote:
If you can't afford kids don't have any. Simple as that.
No its not as simple as that. If you sat down and thought about it for more than 2 seconds then you would come up with at least 25 examples of why its not as 'simple as that'. Whether each example is right or wrong is open to debate, but the point is, its not something black or white, there are so many grey areas. The irony of it all is that if child benefit is removed for all and children start going into an already overburdened council care system because of neglect then the knock on effect of cost of going into care, foster carer fees, social worker costs and so on and so on is going to cost the taxpayer more.
[quote][p][bold]EGHH[/bold] wrote: If you can't afford kids don't have any. Simple as that.[/p][/quote]No its not as simple as that. If you sat down and thought about it for more than 2 seconds then you would come up with at least 25 examples of why its not as 'simple as that'. Whether each example is right or wrong is open to debate, but the point is, its not something black or white, there are so many grey areas. The irony of it all is that if child benefit is removed for all and children start going into an already overburdened council care system because of neglect then the knock on effect of cost of going into care, foster carer fees, social worker costs and so on and so on is going to cost the taxpayer more. s-pb2
  • Score: 0

1:23am Tue 8 Jan 13

guisselle says...

The problem is that too many men
and women don't believe in marriage
or commitment and walk away from
their responsibilities.
The problem is that too many men and women don't believe in marriage or commitment and walk away from their responsibilities. guisselle
  • Score: 0

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