To think capping child tax credits at two children will plunge more families into poverty

(450 Posts)
SoonToBeSix Sun 15-Dec-13 15:08:15

Can't link but article is in the Daily Fail. A Tory mp has proposed capping child benefit and child tax credits at two children in order to win votes.
What happens to those children whose parents circumstances change ie redundancy or there is a contraception failure?
This government is taking welfare cuts too far while continuing to let the very rich avoid paying the correct taxes.

fluffyraggies Tue 17-Dec-13 10:17:01

Not inclined to political argument, just reading the thread and feel very sad to see children described as peoples 'mistakes', and a child's existence being referred to in terms of being someone's 'fault'.

Benefits for families were introduced to improve/sustain the quality of life of the children born into those families that qualified.

Surely the basic principal that drove the enlightened introduction of these benefits so long ago (mainly against the will of the wealthy) will never change - and that is:

children are not at fault for being born. They should not suffer a lack of basics as a consequence of their parents circumstances. And that poverty breeds poverty.

I feel as a society we are stepping backwards sad

cantheyseeme Tue 17-Dec-13 10:34:46

Even worse when people bitch about their OWN children in such a way! Children are a blessing and should be cherished, my overall feeling is that this policy may make people think twice about having more children, but even if it doesnt we will still be paying tax and it is a little comforting that should my own family need a little more support we would get it because that safety net IS there.

ophelia275 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:55:51

Some MP's fiddle their expenses ergo we should give endless amounts of money to people who choose to have more children than they can afford. Great logic. Does all this free cash come from the magic money tree in the sky or will it come out of the pockets of those in work who have chosen to have the number of kids they can afford from their taxed salary and already pay enough tax and NI?

cory Tue 17-Dec-13 11:02:17

ophelia275 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:55:51
"Does all this free cash come from the magic money tree in the sky or will it come out of the pockets of those in work who have chosen to have the number of kids they can afford from their taxed salary and already pay enough tax and NI?"

Speaking as one of the tax payers who have chosen to limit my family, I am happy for it to come out of my pocket as long as it means my children do not have to grow up in a society where some of their peers go without the basics.

A society where everybody selfishly looks to their own interest alone is imho a less happy society. I don't see why my children should have to put up with that.

ophelia275 Tue 17-Dec-13 11:07:28

Cory - I am happy to be "selfish" and limit my family to the size we can afford from our household after tax income. You are welcome to pay more though if you think it makes you a better person.

Ghostsdonttalk Tue 17-Dec-13 11:13:18

I think it's a real sad reflection of modern life that children are seen as commodities and described as mistakes and contraceptive failures.

Your children should not be on a list of commodities between Sky TV and a new car. My Dad was the youngest of 12 born in 1931 ( the hungry thirties) his parents managed to feed and clothe them all.

In reality all children are a gift and should be seen as such.

dreamingofsun Tue 17-Dec-13 11:15:41

ghost - what are you suggesting then? that we have as many children as we fancy and let someone else cover the cost of supporting them?

surely children are a gift, but should also be seen as a responsibility?

merrymouse Tue 17-Dec-13 11:26:32

You are welcome to pay more though if you think it makes you a better person.

I think paying child benefit now makes me a more pragmatic person, not a nicer person. Have you been to countries where children go without the basics?

I think there seems to be an expectation that if you don't pay child benefit children will either

a) disappear in a puff of smoke.
b) Become extras in a period drama like Larkrise or Downton and be poor but rosy cheeked.

You have to get beyond 'it's not fair' and 'I don't approve'. It is likely that a child in receipt of child benefit today will pay far more in tax as an adult than they received in benefits as a child. Whether the bill balances will depend on how much they earn and how much they need, but that is true of all of us.

BarbarianMum Tue 17-Dec-13 11:27:20

<<What is utterly utterly pointless is penalising children who don't ask to be born. >>

Well they wouldn't be very penalised, would they? They'd still be entitled to free education, free healthcare, housing etc (as they should be).

If the difference b/w being able to afford or not afford a third/fourth child is the small amount you receive in child benefit then, you know what, you can't afford more. And yes, you are supposed to take a possible change of circumstances into account when you plan the size of your family.

LadyRabbit Tue 17-Dec-13 11:27:52

Here's what I find extraordinarily hypocritical from some posters. Unless you are in a higher tax bracket, and possibly privately educate your children and use private healthcare then you are almost certainly going to take out more than you put in over your lifetime. What makes your 'benefiting' from the system more moral somehow? Because you're not queueing up for your handout? Because you have someone to look down on? So you can say, 'ooh that's not fair! Look at me! Look how hard I'm working. They're not working as hard as me, I'm more deserving!'

As a higher rate tax payer who privately educates her kid and uses private health (not a stealth boast, I am trying to make a point) I could moan about putting in way more than most people. But I am happy to pay tax. I am happy to fund other people's kids. It's called being in it together, humanity style, not David Cameron style.

I fear people are slow to self examine their own use of the state but quick to judge what they perceive as vast amounts of people killing a system when in fact it is a tiny minority.

LadyRabbit Tue 17-Dec-13 11:28:42

I meant milking a system, not killing it, but perhaps that was a subconsciously apt typo!

OTheHugeManatee Tue 17-Dec-13 11:35:22

"Unless you are in a higher tax bracket, and possibly privately educate your children and use private healthcare then you are almost certainly going to take out more than you put in over your lifetime."

Hang on. How does that work? If almost everyone is taking out more than they're putting in, then the result is bound to be a huge hole in the public finances, right? How is that sustainable?

merrymouse Tue 17-Dec-13 11:35:27

It's called being in it together, humanity style, not David Cameron style. And also recognising that we all benefit in a completely selfish way from having a society where the only way you can feed your children is through crime, and that some of those children might grow up to look after us in our old age.

merrymouse Tue 17-Dec-13 11:40:08

Looking at average wages, most people, in the years that they have children are certainly receiving more than they get from the state.

As LadyRabbit says, the only way this wouldn't be the case would be if you were paying very high taxes, and not using state education or the health service. (Although even then you benefit from the fire service, the police service, the legal system, arts and sports funding, the BBC etc. etc. etc. so for most people it's impossible to know.)

LadyRabbit Tue 17-Dec-13 11:51:21

OTheHugeManatee that's precisely the problem. There is a huge hole in public finances. Remember the sign off from the last Labour chancellor to Osborne "There's nothing left"? So we are on a horrible treadmill where we started a welfare state in the 1940s with a considerably smaller population that had a much lower life expectancy to now, with a much much larger population that has to keep increasing so that there are enough taxpayers to fund a population that will live much longer and use an NHS that is already on its knees. An NHS that now costs more partly because the government has farmed out so much of it to private agencies who run it for profit and thus make it cost more than it should. While demoralising front line workers with rubbish pay and conditions.

The problems with the welfare state and its sustainability are myriad. But child benefit costs are tiny in comparison to the waste of tax monies on things like foreign aid, not implementing corporation tax because we want to incentivise big business in order to drive employment and this keep the tax/welfare treadmill running and so on. MPs' fiddling their expenses is more a symptom than the actual cause.

The fact remains, unless you earn over the average wage you will in your lifetime most likely cost more in what you use than you have paid for. There are much bigger welfare fish to fry than slashing child benefits IMO. But I understand why it's emotive. I would quite like another child, but I am waiting so that I can stagger school fees and such. But that's my choice, and while I think it's the sensible option I simply don't have it in me to get my knickers in a twist about people who do otherwise because there are far bigger things to get cross about.

OTheHugeManatee Tue 17-Dec-13 12:05:44

To put it another way. If five people turn up and each brings 2 cupcakes, but everyone eats 3 cupcakes, that's 5 extra cupcakes that have to come from somewhere.

If, as ladyrabbit says, nearly everyone is taking out more than they're putting in, that's the equivalent of nearly everyone bringing 2 cupcakes but eating 3. If that's the case then there must either be a very few people putting in a hell of a lot of extra cupcakes or else there is a cupcake deficit (I'm not sure what -5 cupcakes looks like, but bear with me).

As far as I can make out, it's the latter; and I just don't understand how people are so blase about this when European nations with unsustainably generous welfare states relative to tax take (eg Greece and, increasingly, France) are in serious trouble.

This is not the same as saying screw the poor, or take everyone's cupcakes away, or cupcakes only for the rich, or whatever. It's saying that if practically everyone takes out more than they put in, then collectively we need to be agreeing to take less out. So there is enough left for those that really need it.

Otherwise it becomes a race to the bottom, with everyone competing for a shrinking pot of handouts and everyone resenting everyone else. Which is, effectively, what's happening. IMO a great deal of the 'benefit bashing', for example between working people on TC and those on IS, is not some evil Tory conspiracy but simply a consequence of a system that's promised more than it finds it can now deliver.

dreamingofsun Tue 17-Dec-13 12:09:31

don't worry othehuge i will bring 10 cupcakes and once they are gone i will bring another 10 untill all my cupcakes have been eaten. we don't eat that many anyway as we only have 2 children.

OTheHugeManatee Tue 17-Dec-13 12:15:29

Ah - x posted.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Tue 17-Dec-13 12:16:30

as we all know the main cost is pensions so we all need to be as self supporting in old age as possible. which means reducing costs when younger (whether paid for by the household or the taxpayer). which means smaller families.

LadyRabbit Tue 17-Dec-13 12:19:49

OTheHugeManatee your cupcake analogy sums it up perfectly! Yup. The extra cupcakes tend to come from the top 5% higher rate tax payers (I read a break down not that long ago that made my head spin, I wish I could remember where then I would link to it) but the more governments allow tax avoidance the fewer cupcakes there are for the party. Nobody likes to admit it. It's easier to bash the rich, but without their tax the system would collapse. The UK is looking to France right now and seeing what happens when you introduce punitive higher taxation in order to fund a very generous welfare system. They pick up and leave, and a lot are coming to London. Great for the city, but not so great if the government doesn't start making bigger demands of corporations in terms of tax.

Who knows what will happen. There will undoubtedly be a time of reckoning where future generations have to lower their expectations of what the state will provide. Unless the government actually does have the balls to go after the super rich and make them pay tax in this country. But then it makes this country less attractive for business and therein lies the rub.

Aargh. It's such a blooming mess. I need a cup of tea and a cupcake now. grin

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Tue 17-Dec-13 13:37:09

many of the super rich are not British - so tax them and they will just go somewhere else. taking their spending money with them.

international corporations ditto. how can any govt force them to tax here? they have no rights to see the accounts of a company registered overseas.

so the solution does not involve the superrich or large increases in corporation tax.

WooWooOwl Tue 17-Dec-13 17:16:51

Here's what I find extraordinarily hypocritical from some posters. Unless you are in a higher tax bracket, and possibly privately educate your children and use private healthcare then you are almost certainly going to take out more than you put in over your lifetime. What makes your 'benefiting' from the system more moral somehow? Because you're not queueing up for your handout?

It is nit hypocritical to want all citizens who are able to to both pay in, and be able to take out from the system.

State provided services are something that everyone should have access to, benefiting from services you contribute to paying for is not 'more moral'.

But taking services you don't contribute to when you are physically able to is immoral IMO.

Yes, many people will take out more than they pay in, but as long as they are paying in what they can, and not taking out an unreasonable amount for selfish reasons, it's not a problem. Having children when you and your partner are unemployed or earn so little that you massively rely on other people to pay for them is unreasonable and selfish. Having children and needing a little help just to get through the most expensive years while still contributing at the same time is not.

farrowandbawlbauls Tue 17-Dec-13 17:25:23

Let this thread die already!

merrymouse Tue 17-Dec-13 17:55:38

Child related benefits are for children, not their parents. As I said before, children have many years ahead of them to pay taxes, however many siblings they have.

What they don't do is vanish from the face of the earth because their parents were either feckless or had bad luck, just because they have 2 siblings.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Tue 17-Dec-13 18:07:22

i think just as everyone on a high income should pay all their taxes and not seek to minimise their obligations via legal tax schemes, people on low incomes have an equal obligation to rely on the state as little as is possible for them as individuals.

the govt systems needs to be designed to encourage this behaviour by all.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now