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Child benefit changes - what do you think?

(1000 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 25-Oct-12 13:50:35

Next week, the Inland Revenue will write to 1.2m families about upcoming changes to child benefit eligibility. The changes mean that from next January, single-income families earning more than £50,000 per year will no longer be eligible for the full amount (currently worth £1,055 for the first child) - and those earning over £60K will no longer receive it at all.

The changes are controversial. Dual-income families who both earn just below the 50K cut-off - who have, in other words, a family-income of just under £100K per year - will continue to receive the full amount, leading to criticism that the changes penalise both stay-at-home mothers and single parents. Accountants are warning that new partners of divorced parents could also lose out. And the entire process is so complicated - with families forced to fill out complex self-assessment forms for the first time - that the Inland Revenue has reportedly postponed sending out the letters because they can't find a form of words that families will be able to understand.

What do you think? Will you be affected by the changes, and what will it mean for your family? Are stay-at-home mothers being unfairly targeted - or is staying at home a luxury which shouldn't be subsidised by the taxpayer? Should child benefit be universal - or should it be available only to families who are really struggling? Let us know what you think here on the thread, and don't forget to post your URLs if you blog on this subject - we'll be tweeting them over the next few days.

mumnosbest Thu 25-Oct-12 14:23:00

Luckily we don't fit into these categories because we're underpaid and poor. It seems very unfair that the amount is different for single and duel incomes. How do they justify that. For a single parent do they take childcare costs into consideration?

The nice thing about child benefit at the moment is that it is a simple system, that is easy to understand and is unbiassed.

Tax credits are the means tested 'child benefit' (amongst other things). If child benefit is effectively going to become means tested why to scrap it and add it as an element of tax credit. Not that I necessarily support this...just sounds as tho they are making it complicated and could actually cut costs by only having to administer another means tested benefit.

ZombTEE Thu 25-Oct-12 14:25:36

It's as insane and ill thought out as all other changes to the benefit system that have been announced.

Anyone ready to riot yet?

mumnosbest Thu 25-Oct-12 14:39:27

I'm in ZombTEE!

Boggler Thu 25-Oct-12 14:54:33

Count me in for the riot too!

I'm going to lose all child benefit because my husband dares to work bloody hard to keep us and we are just over the 60k limit but have no spare cash! We are not rich we don't swan off on exotic holidays and we live in a very modest house. I'm currently on maternity leave with dc2 and am thinking of staying home completely due to astronomic childcare costs - but because husband earns a tidy salary we are being penalised! I think it's bloody unfair considering that a dual income family with £99k coming in will not lose a penny - totally unjust. Tories are not just kicking the unemployed but mothers as well. Why mess with a system that works well? Who is paying for the extra HMRC administrators? I bet when all extra costs are calculated the net saving will be minimal.

Tax breaks for millionaires - penalties for hardworking families!

For a start, 50k in London/SE for a single income family does not a rich person make, in fact we rely on the CB most months to feed ourselves, so I take huge issue with the figure they have put on it, secondly as is now widely argued, next door can have two single incomes of £49k and not be penalised.
This piss poor Government are way to reactionary and cannot seem to think past the next election. I think CB should be restricted to two children though (I have 3DC), and people should be encouraged to opt out of they only use the money for savings.I would argue that nationally a FAMILY income of £80k is a logical cut off and reflects both single and joint incomes. We will be hugely affected. I am currently a SAHM and it is hugely cheaper for me to stay at home than pay for childcare and travel into central London where my job is based (and no I cannot do my job locally as I work in a Government department who has closed all local offices). We are just on the cusp and I write this sitting in a undecorated housing association property (which isn't hugely cheaper than the private rental we were in six months ago) that we sat on a list for 7 years for to get. We are not rich, we just about survive. I don't ask to be subsidised by the taxpayer, but I do think CB is and should remain a universal benefit for children, not parents and that I am being penalised by being a female who earns less and had to sacrifice her job for the sake of her family.

BTW it hasn't been Inland Revenue for several years, so you may want to correct the departmental name smile

izzywizzyisbizzy Thu 25-Oct-12 15:13:28

It's appalling, it's going to cost a fortune to administer and I agree it penalises single parents and SAHMs - why should a couple on £99k keep it and a single parent on tens of thousands less not.

Utter utter madness.

Declutterbug Thu 25-Oct-12 15:14:15

I do not object to cost savings being made, nor to our family having to bear some of those costs. There are 3 objections I have to the implementation of this change:

1 it goes against a manifesto commitment.
2 it penalises me as a sham, as not only does our family lose this because dh earns too much, but unlike a double income family where both earn more moderate amounts that add up in total to over 60k, we only get one tax allowance and do pays 40 percent tax on some of his income. So, we already have less in our pockets than a family with 2 adults who earn 30k and 31k. Given the wealth of research on the early years, I am hugely disappointed that families where one parent decides to stay at home are penalised in these ways.
3 It's apparently fine to have independent taxation when it comes to married couples allowance being abolished, but now my husband and I are considered together for child benefit. So he has to declare a benefit I claim... I am expected to tell him I claim it and he's supposed to tell me his salary. How will they enforce this?

It pisses me off because it's not fair.

BlueGuinefort Thu 25-Oct-12 15:16:19

what Boggler said.

And I am less annoyed about losing the money than I am about the sheer bloody unfairness of the single/dual income discrepancy. Penalises SAHMs and single parents sad

ZombTEE Thu 25-Oct-12 15:17:52

I'm not a SAHM because I freelance but I do feel like I am penalized for trying to make my own company. I currently work very part time as my son is only in school 3 hours a day, with the intention of ramping up when he starts full time school next year.

I do have a childminder 2 afternoons a week, because that's all we can afford. I can't make enough to cover more time than that. As it is my income is just above what it costs to keep my son with her those 2 afternoons.

Before he started preschool he was in daycare 3 full days so I could work and we were just barely breaking even.

I also have health issues that means I need to set my own hours so I can rest during the day.

The government pretty much hates me. They like my husband though. grin

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 25-Oct-12 15:19:32

I'm so upset that in the 2+ years since this was announced that they haven't come up with a fairer way of doing it. It's not that I think we have a right to CB, but the way it's being implemented just feels like a big fuck you to stay at home parents and single parents. My partner pays proportionately more tax than a dual income couple earning the same as his single income, and we're the ones being penalised. If we were all in this together I would not be feeling this resentful!

WipsGlitter Thu 25-Oct-12 15:19:47

DP earns above the threshold (assuming it means all taxable income including bonus), I don't and our joint earnings are below the £100k level. We are assuming that means we are going to lose our child benefit, but only in that I will continue to recieve it but DP will have to pay it back through his self assessment?

I don't think we will be alone in having a not straighforward situation so no wonder they are struggling to find wording to cover all the permutations.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 15:28:37

Yes - completely agree with the comments above. Cannot believe that the coalition think this is a fair way of dealing with things viz the double incomes.

I'm expecting first DC in November some will get for a few months. Our tax team at work (legal firm - stuffed with ex HMRC) inspectors have advised that it is likely to be a bloody shambles - with the system not being properly updated to show that people have given up their entitlement in January. Therefore, I'm going to opt to keep taking it. DH is self employed so can account for it in his tax return. We always intended to try and save little and often for DC so will probably stick in a savings account and then at least I'll feel I've got something back in my 2p a year interest!

I'm thoroughly pissed off about the whole thing as I feel that we pay a fuckload of tax, which is ever increasing, and get nothing back from it.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 15:32:19

wips - yes that is my understanding. However, on the advice from work, keep taking it and declare on your DH's tax return as he is doing one anyway. The view at work seems to be that people will waive the right, but the HMRC systems won't be able to process this quickly as it will be a big job updating the systems. Therefore, some people will slip through the net and there will be demands for repayment etc and it will be a huge faff having to call/correspond with HMRC

Piffpaffpoff Thu 25-Oct-12 16:01:55

I am still raging about this. DH earns £55k so we will lose out. We can probably manage on the reduced rate but, as I said on a thread about it when it was first was announced, it's the inequity of it that angers me the most. I have 2dcs and we will lose out. My next door neighbours with only one child could earn £99,999 between them and still get it in full. That's just not right or fair, its just plain wrong. But this government dont appear interested in right or wrong or fairness.

It should be based on total household income IMO.

JackThePumpkinKing Thu 25-Oct-12 16:03:43

How the does spending all this money on assessment and letters and everything else that this involves cost LESS than just leaving it how it is. Does this actually save any money at all. If so, How much?

HOW is it actually going to be implented? I am not a stupid person but I fail to see how on earth this is actually going to work in practice.

OwlLady Thu 25-Oct-12 16:05:32

We live in the home counties and my husband earns over the threshold and we cannot afford to even buy our home. I cannot work because I care for a severely disabled child and I have two other children as well.

Whilst I really in no stretch of the imagination do I class us as poor, it would be vulgar to do so, it does rather grate on my nerves that someone on a dual income of much more will still get. It's a poorly thought out policy and tbh I think David Cameron needs to be brought to task about it. He specifically said in all his pre election talks/information that he would not target those who had children with disabilities and yet we seem to be affected by rather a lot of cuts, including those at a local authority level. Thanks Dave

Not happy at all here. DH is a HRT. I am a student. 2/3 of my DC are his stepchildren. He will have money clawed back from the tax return for dc which aren't his sad

We rent as we can't afford to buy too.

issimma Thu 25-Oct-12 16:06:27

I understand that cuts need to be made.
I understand that a household w someone earning 50K is not in dire poverty.
What I do not understand, and what makes me livid, is that lots of households with an income of 50k will have it cut, whereas some households with an income of nearly £100k will keep it. This is unfair and illogical.

Tincletoes Thu 25-Oct-12 16:16:18

But issmama, while I agree it's unfair on single parents, where me and my DH both work we have to pay childcare fees of nearly £1000 per month. Presumably most couples where there is a SAHP don't?

The thing is, it all just depends on individual circumstances, doesn't it? I could say isn't it unfair my friend who is 10 years older is able to work very part time because she was able to take advantage of the house price increases and so will be eligible. The nice thing about the old system was that it was ultimately just a "fair" benefit really.
It is just stupid that I bet it costs more in admin to implement than it will actually save.

Asinine Thu 25-Oct-12 16:19:08

Exactly what Issimma said.

I would love love love to hear a government minister being pushed hard (preferably by Paxman) to explain why a dual earning family on 99k can keep child benefit. That's outrageous given the situation of the vast majority of people already struggling financially who are being stamped on by welfare 'reform'.

I have no problem with CB being taken off any family with combined income of 50k+ as long as the money saved is actually spent on children in lower earning households who will suffer under the universal credit system.

MrsArchieTheInventor Thu 25-Oct-12 16:25:04

I know cuts have to be made and we're all in this together but I thought child benefit was the golden universal benefit that doesn't get touched. Means test tax credits, means test jobseekers' allowance, means test bus passes, but child benefit I always thought was the one thing you could rely on for at least one stable source of income for a family, usually the mother.

As for the argument that child benefit is sometimes used by well off families to buy feed for their horses etc etc, that's a dangerous step towards dictating what benefit is actually spent on. It's none of my business if a person on jobseekers' allowance spends that allowance on fags and booze. Or is it?

We are paying £1k a month childcare whilst I am at uni and not earning sad

It is desperately unfair that others with a much higher household income will be unaffected. I also would never claim we are poor but with one income of 55k, 4 dc and 1k per month childcare costs we certainly aren't booking the Bahamas for our hols.

IsabelleRinging Thu 25-Oct-12 16:26:55

It is CRAZY!
How can they possibly justify the discrepancy in the new system?

purpleroses Thu 25-Oct-12 16:27:55

I think it's fundamentally unfair because families with children need more money to live off than people without children - regardless of their income.

If you think that people on £60,000 or whatever don't need the money, then the fair thing to do would to to increase higher rate tax rather than pick only on those with children.

Why should someone supporting a family of 5 or 6 pay the same tax, as someone who is supporting only themselves, and get no allowance for the costs of supporting all those other people?

There's also a bigger argument that once child benefit becomes seen as not for the richest, there will soon be a drive to ensure that it is "effectively targetted at those that need it most" or something similar, so it will roll into Universal Credit, and disapear altogether. People won't value the welfare state if they see it as only for the poor and feckless - and when universal benefits are ended, that is the way it goes.

The way it has been set up is also wrong - Neither I nor my kids' father earn £50,000 (even if you added our incomes together) but my new partner does so he will have to pay it back if I claim. I'm not sure how the government expects this to work as there's no legal duty on me to tell him whether I receive it and we keep our finances separate.

rara67 Thu 25-Oct-12 16:29:45

Please can somebody explain what will happen to the state pension credits that I understand I am getting through claiming child benefit? I claim child benefit so what happens when I stop? Do I just come out of the system entirely?

Mum2Luke Thu 25-Oct-12 16:32:17

I agree Boggler - my huisband earns £50K and everything comes out of his wage so we will lose it yet someone earning twice his amount will keep it. I work as a school dinner lady in the kitchens (casual contract) for 2 hours a day sometimes for a only an hour depending which school I am at for £6.65 per hour. I am giving up my childminding because there are too many private nurseries taking business as they get government funding. angry Next year my youngest goes to high school so I am dreading it when we have to buy uniform, football boots,trainers etc as well as the school holidays they offer at inflated prices.

I have no family near to help with childcare and I have worked it out that if I got another second job I would be out of pocket because of childcare for him (ds is 11 in March next year but too young to stay home alone).

This government seem to penalise people like us with one main wage earner and me trying to earn money yet looking after my own child because I cannot afford a childminder. This is the only benefit we have now, I think if you pay into the system (and working people certainly do via National Insurance) you should be entitled to some help back.

Working hard to provide for your family is becoming a mug's game!!!!

Viviennemary Thu 25-Oct-12 16:32:59

It does seem a bit unfair that households earning over £95,000 or so will still be able to claim it but households with one person earning a lot less won't. But no more unfair than the student loan system leaving future students with huge debt when students in the past had no debts or much smaller debts. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if there was a re-think on the new child benefit rules.

OwlLady Thu 25-Oct-12 16:35:00

I like the way Call me Dave was an advocate of traditional families prior to the election campaign too hmm

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 16:37:35

Yes. This.

I would love love love to hear a government minister being pushed hard (preferably by Paxman) to explain why a dual earning family on 99k can keep child benefit. That's outrageous given the situation of the vast majority of people already struggling financially who are being stamped on by welfare 'reform'.

Is it worth emailing news night to see if this could be picked up on? May also try submitting a question to Question Time. If enough did, it might be asked.

supergreenuk Thu 25-Oct-12 16:41:32

I absolutely think that high earners should not recieved it but it should be based on the household income.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 16:42:02

Or can we get a minister on mumsnet for a chat bollocking?

I think it's ridiculous. Utterly unfair that if our income was split evenly between us, we'd qualify for child benefit, whereas because my husband is a higher earner, we miss out. It's the same amount of money at the end of the day, just differently split. Why should a family with both earners on £40k get it, and a family where someone earns £25k, and the other £55k miss out?

IsabelleRinging Thu 25-Oct-12 16:44:08

I don't think it is penalising SAHMs as such. If one person earns over 60K then they will lose the benefit anyway, whether or not one person stays at home. The realtively small amount of child benefit is unlikely to be difference between staying at home and working full time (but it helps).

IsabelleRinging Thu 25-Oct-12 16:45:50

Yes WHAT? about the pension credits system?

flinkystanny Thu 25-Oct-12 16:46:05

This is the trouble with the election of a government who are all from extremely wealthy backgrounds and who have no actual idea of how working or even middle class people live.
They have spent their lives surrounded by privilige.
I really hope that one day they realise all the problems they have caused people.
I cannot see them lasting much longer to be honest. It just seems to be one shambles and poorly thought out policy after another

WearingGreen Thu 25-Oct-12 16:47:04

I don't really get it.

Do the earners in the household have to be the parent of the child or can they be another relative ie how will this affect multigenerational households and step households. Will the baby of a single mother not be entitled to CB if the mother lives with high earning parents. My minted brother used to live with me, but does he count?

Is it based on the actual parents, adults in the household, or adults in the household whom it can be presumed the child's mother is having sex with.

EdithWeston Thu 25-Oct-12 16:48:55

I think it is very, very wrong that the NI credit component of CB is overlooked in just about every pronouncement on this.

It's a flawed system, for it penalises single earning families, as family A on £90k might keep all of it, whereas family B on £60k could lose all of it.

And undermines the hard won principle of independent taxation, to the extent that if an official looked up the information required to append person A's income record to person B's income record, they would be committing a criminal offence.

It is omnishambes par excellence. A disastrously conceived measure, beyond anyone's manifesto commitments, administratively impossible, and unlikely to save much money, as claw back will be expensive and require continuous attention.

For if they were honest to the general public, there would be a very clear message that, in the interests of your long term financial position, you need to keep claiming CB for the NI credit. Do not let the earnings now of someone, who may not be around by the time you reach state pension age reduce your pension entitlement.

flinkystanny Thu 25-Oct-12 16:50:39

Whilst I also understand the vulnerability of older people and that many are on fixed incomes with no potential for their income to increase. It seems so ridiculously unfair that people over 60 are completely removed from any cuts. What really gets my goat is the universal Winter Fuel payment and well as free bus passes.
Some of the recently just turned 60 are amongst the most priviliged of any generation there has ever been. Full employment, untouched pensions, cheap property.
Whilst Pension Credits already means tests many of the kess well off older people, why can these things not be pegged to that?
Oh, I know - pensioners are the most likely to vote in an election.
We need to make out presence known at the polls! Then they will have to listen more.

OwlLady Thu 25-Oct-12 16:51:29

oh Edith I like you, what a brilliant post

noseymcposey Thu 25-Oct-12 16:52:41

It's ridiculous that they are taking child benefit away. It must cost a fortune to administer it in this way thus wasting a stack of money that could be put to better use if they continued to pay it out in child benefit.

Despite the fact that we will lose it due to DP income, CB is currently essential to our budget. >50k may seem a lot but where I live the cost of housing, commuting etc is so high that it doesn't go that far when you are paying for childcare as well (I work too but earn less). We are by no means extravagant but I am going to struggle to buy all the household things I need without it. In fact it is already a struggle.

Asinine Thu 25-Oct-12 16:53:04


Good idea, let's try and get that question asked, I want to see someone squirm.

Happybunny12 Thu 25-Oct-12 16:53:36

Agree with the comments saying CB should be assesed on combined income. But would go further with the following points (just ideas):
- bring back married couples allowance or allow married couples (and civil partners) to 'share' tax free allowance to recognise the benefit to this country of SAHP. Assess households/families as one unit for tax purposes.
- consider scrapping CB completely and making it part of the child tax credits to save admin costs as noted above by HauntedLittleLunatic
- assess on combined income at a reduced limit of £75k (probably get flamed for this one)
- increase childcare voucher limits (ie increase tax benefit), make all employers offer childcare voucher salary sacrifice options and/or make childcare costs tax deductible (subject to a limit)

I think it is really wrong and engenders feelings of unfairness to have a system which removes money from people based not on how much money the family earns but how the money is earned.
I am also sick to death of hearing that "the changes penalise both stay-at-home mothers and single parents" -I work part time, I was paying childcare until recently and all of my income went on childcare and travel. (My husband earns too much for us to get child benefit.) Do we somehow not lose out by this? I have 4 dcs and will lose £232 per month.
I also feel that there will be a few people stuck on PAYE who will lose it, and a lot of self employed/ people near the threshold suddenly paying their spouse/ mum/ dad/ dog or making pension contributions to keep it.

BurntToastSmell Thu 25-Oct-12 16:57:40

Has anyone mentioned that for SAHMs, this change puts them completely reliant on their husband's good will? CB was the only benefit that women got as default.

This change is very dangerous indeed. Very backward.

Want2bSupermum Thu 25-Oct-12 16:59:40

Every other Western country gives a break to families with children. Here in the US, DH and I file a joint return and we get an allowance for each dependent. Dependents can include your parents too. The allowance is around $3K so not a lot but every bit helps. If both parents are working there is a small deduction for daycare of $5K but if you are low income there are quite a few credits that kick in. To help single mothers there is the head of household filing status so you get a higher standard deduction compared to a single person.

I think it is time that the UK changed the way they tax people. Children should result in a family paying less tax. I also think they should make childcare provided by a childminder or nursery fully deductible to remove the double taxation. A person supporting an adult plus child(ren) should not be paying the same as someone who is single.

bengalcat Thu 25-Oct-12 17:01:31

Edith I was considering giving up CB but your post suggests it might be better to keep it for NI credits whatever they might be and pay HMRC back through a tax return ?

I can understand the need to make cuts but I remember emailing ( not like me at all to complain ) my MP when these proposals were first announced essentially because of what I felt and still feel was the unfair practice of a two earner household effectively being able to keep CB with @100K coming in but a single higher rate taxpayer earner losing out at 50/60K.

OwlLady Thu 25-Oct-12 17:02:45

BurntToastSmell, which is why it was given to the Mother historically in the first instance

Women are being royally screwed over by this government from all angles from what i can see sad

Asinine Thu 25-Oct-12 17:03:27

Have emailed pm on radio 4 with the '99k £ question'.

BurntToastSmell Thu 25-Oct-12 17:05:01

OwlLady it makes me feel sick to my stomach. My great country is turning into an even bigger patriarchy than it was before. Women are seen as so unimportant. We need to organise ourselves.

partystress Thu 25-Oct-12 17:05:27

Agree with all those who think it is an ill-conceived, unfair, hopefully unworkable system. Am determined to minimise the benefit the ConDem omnishambles crew take from us and so we are transferring my childcare vouchers to DH because, as I understand it, salary sacrifices like cc vouchers, pension AVCs, are taken off salary before the reduction in CB is calculated. Won't save us all of it, but will mean we can hang on to a bit more of it - and it is much needed in our house.

soverylucky Thu 25-Oct-12 17:06:22

It can not be worked in a fair way. If you do it on joint income you would need to take into account that a family with two incomes would probably have childcare costs that other familys do not have. If you base in on one higher rate tax payer you are penalising single parents and you have the discrepancy that one family on 60k lose out whereas next door with 99k will keep it.

I propose to save money that the government ammend child benefit so that it reduces for each child. You currently get more for your first child and then all subsequent children entitle you to a lower amount. It could be something along the lines of £20 for first child, £12 for second child, £8 for third child etc. ( I haven't really thought this through - it is just an idea so feel free to pull it to pieces)

Ultimately though I think that far more money could be raised by, oh I don't know, getting all the people who avoid tax to pay it and not wasting money on war. But I am a dreamer.....

noseymcposey Thu 25-Oct-12 17:08:19

So on a scale of 1-10 what do you reckon the chances are of it not happening?

CelineMcBean Thu 25-Oct-12 17:08:40

It is incredibly unfair at the moment and I have huge issues with having my finances tied to my husband via his tax return. I am not his chattel angry

I would rather give up child benefit instead of having to bother with all the form filling. I can't pretend we need it although our combined income is less than £70k in London. We can manage without.

However, I am concerned that I may lose my state pension and other rights if I am not claiming child benefit. Should I be completing a CF411A Application form for credits for parents and carers if I give it up?

Happybunny12 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:09:48

EdithWeston - 'hard won principle of independent taxation'. Not sure I understand this, I've always thought it unfair that households are not assessed for tax as one unit (like I think they kind of are in the States?)

But am prepared to be persuaded otherwise- why is it important that we are all assessed for tax independently?

noseymcposey Thu 25-Oct-12 17:10:01

burnttoast and that is the number one reason why it should stay as it is in my view

Pyrrah Thu 25-Oct-12 17:10:15

State Pension Credits - I got a friend who is a Labour MP to ask this as a question in Parliament earlier this year and the answer is that yes people will still get the Credits.

Either because they continue to claim CB and it is clawed back as a lump sum at the end of the year from the higher earner via the self-assessment tax form (just what everyone wants to look forward to).

Or because you fill in a form every year to say thanks for offering but I don't want the money but please do give me my credits.

Whole system is a total shambles and will cost more than it will save IMO. The easiest people to 'get' are married couples, where you have blended, single and changing families it's a nightmare.

Even though DH and I are married, we still have separate bank accounts and I actually don't know how much he earns... has never occurred to me to ask.

We are just over the £60k threshold, but live in London (have to for his job), have a very small flat, no car and one child. We are fine on that, but can't afford to have another kid without serious financial issues and the idea of foreign holidays is a distant dream. I'm planning on going back to work now that DD has started at pre-school, but till then the cost of childcare was more than I would earn.

noseymcposey Thu 25-Oct-12 17:12:03

happy because not all couples share their incomes equally. The lower earner has to depend on the higher earner sharing fairly.

JustFabulous Thu 25-Oct-12 17:16:10

We will lose it and tbh it saves us every month so not sure what we will do tbh.

EdithWeston Thu 25-Oct-12 17:16:38

Because women are no longer considered chattels of their husbands, and all adults are treated independently.

And budget cuts can be made, fairly and simply. Freeze or even reduce the level of CB. No new administration costs, nor change to underlying principles of UK taxation, nor new unfair thresholds, nor continual need to update/reassess, nor increased risk of pensioner poverty as consequences of gaps in NI record are so ill-publicised.

Happybunny12 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:17:53

Sorry nosey, still don't get ot. The way I would see a combined tax status working would be, where there is a single earner in the household, they can 'claim' the other person's personal allowance (eg a SAHP) on their tax return. So you'd have to actually claim it at the end of the year and it wouldn't be on PAYE. In terms of 'sharing' the money, aren't SAHPs reliant on their OHs doing this anyway?

JustFabulous Thu 25-Oct-12 17:18:09

I can't remember who said it but it really pissed me off when the female MP said that SAHM were "a problem."

Happybunny12 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:22:43

And Edith, I'm really not trying to pick a fight here, but wouldn't the 'women as chattels' point be moot if we could designate a financial 'head of the household' as the American poster above described?

Asinine Thu 25-Oct-12 17:23:01

Have just emailed today, world tonight and pm on radio 4 about the 99k£ question.

Feel a bit better albeit a bit middle aged blush

Sandrute Thu 25-Oct-12 17:23:22

Families live only on 20000 income. And families cray on 60000 income?

Trazzletoes Thu 25-Oct-12 17:34:40

<applauds Declutterbug>

EdithWeston Thu 25-Oct-12 17:38:52

Here's a paper which includes a section on the history of the struggle for independent taxation.

Now, no party is putting forward a proper set of proposals about cancelling this principle. If someone were doing so, then it coukd be properly critiqued.

Instead there is this kind of chipping away at the principles, either because they simply do not see that independent taxation is a worthwhile thing in itself, or (worse) because they do want to put second earners in any family unit into a disadvantaged position. It might however increase the tax revenue in the short term, as second incomes are then taxed on highest rate applicable to the household but in the longer run it will, once again, tend to lower participation in the workforce.

CelineMcBean Thu 25-Oct-12 17:39:11

What can you say to someone who doesn't see why being treated as chattel of someone else is a problem?

Where to even begin?

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 17:39:48

asinine - think I'll need to tweet question time on the night the show is on as cant see how a question can be submitted in advance unless you're an audience member

MUMSNET - is there any possibility that you can set up an urgent web chat re this? Accept the government may very well say that the decision has been made but a number of serious issues regarding the practical implication have been raised on this thread. From what I can see, no guidance has been provided so that can be done in the course of the web chat.

CelineMcBean Thu 25-Oct-12 17:40:31

Ah, that's where <<applauds Edith>>

BettyandDon Thu 25-Oct-12 17:41:18

I disagree with the cuts as I believe that £50k for a single family income is not a lot in the SE. However, I think CB is not really the main issue for families with pre-schoolers - childcare costs are. The 'squeezed middle' are completely crippled by these...

I'm a SAHM. If I was not a SAHM and used full time child care for 2 under 3, it would cost me £3600 gross pcm, so I would need to earn £43k to break even.

I've just calculated that if I was still employed and paying taxes the govt would get £26k off me PA. Now they get nout. How can this be good for the economy?

I feel that poorer families get a huge amount of help with the cost of raising children from the various elements of tax credits and contribution to childcare costs. I think the same rules should apply to all children - they do for school age children (all have access to state schools), so why shouldn't this start earlier? Maybe that will be the next thing - anyone that earns over £50k needs to fund their own primary school place ?

Asinine Thu 25-Oct-12 17:43:27

shiny good idea, and good luck with that.

To me the policy is so random, it's like picking your tax code out of a hat every year.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 17:48:43

I think that it should be means tested on family income not dual or single. Families earning more than 50K shouldn't receive anything, when the disabled, unemployed, incapacitated, pensioners etc are being penalised.

NatashaBee Thu 25-Oct-12 18:05:38

I don't live in the UK any more, but it sounds like a shambles (and DH would have been hit, even if he was a single parent as he was before he met me). What happens with stepfamily situations - is the new partner's income taken into account when calculating whether a parent is eligible?

snapespeare Thu 25-Oct-12 18:07:25

I'm a single parent who has always worked full time, before and after XP left us. I receive no maintenance. I do get some tax credits (thank you tax payers , oh wait! I am one! Thanks me...) I have three DCs aged 17, 14 & 13. My salary is currently well below the new chb threshold, but my career plan is to be promoted around about the time I would lose chb for eldest child. I still wouldn't lose my chb with that salary increase, but any subsequent increases would be wiped out by losing chb.

Where is my incentive to do well and progress in my career? The government wants single parents to work, but seems content to create policy that makes it more beneficial to stay in the lower end of the wage-earning spectrum. How can it be fair that dual-income families can earn £99k, but I would lose chb at £50k. Any income I receive from the state is deducted by increases in salary. I want to be a shining example to my DCs by working in a job that has the potential to change people's lives, but all I see is continual attacks.

I absolutely get the SAHP argument, however, there are two of you to hopefully share the responsibility and joy of raising children. I do all of this on my own.

The money saved will not be targeted at lower income families. child poverty will not be eradicated by removing child benefit from 'better-off' families. There will be no re-distribution towards minimum wage families having a worse time than I. Educational maintenance allowance has been abolished, sure start centres and libraries close, the cost of childcare and utilities spirals, all I see is attacks on what politicians love to call 'hard-working-families.'

snapespeare Thu 25-Oct-12 18:10:01

...and I am vehemently opposed to bringing back a married couple or civil partners allowance. Dual income families with no children have far less need of state support than any (low-income) family with children, irregardless of that families make-up or marital status.

Woozley Thu 25-Oct-12 18:10:52

I've still to do my online self-assessment for 2011-12. Hope I don't have to do a further one straight after. I STILL don't see how they are going to enforce this. Incomes are individual. CB is paid to me. How the bugger do they do what my HOUSEHOLD income is?

Woozley Thu 25-Oct-12 18:11:23

Do they know, I meant of course...

Mandy21 Thu 25-Oct-12 18:22:16

Its hard isn't it? I think single parent families are slightly different, but where families choose to have one parent staying at home, isn't that a luxury that most people can't afford? My H and I don't earn £60k+ individually, but combined we do, so if it was based on household income, we'd lose our entitlement completely. Thats new £190 a month to us (we have 3 DC).

I work 3 days a week and pay around £1100 a month childcare in nursery for 1 child and after school for the other 2. I'm left with about £500 a month once I've paid for my commuting expenses. We don't qualify for any tax credits or any other form of benefit.

Our net income therefore is based on my H's salary (much less than £50k) and about £500 from me. So whilst we do have a combined income of more than £60k, its much less than a husband earning £60k who has a wife who chooses to stay at home and look after the children.

CelineMcBean Thu 25-Oct-12 18:24:21

Do you know what, I am just so utterly fucking sick of it all. I'm fed up with the disabled, single parents, stay at home parents and carers being shat on by this government and I'm particularly enraged at the indirect sex discrimination that is being allows to happen because those groups are comprised of significantly more women then men.

I have had it up to here with cuts to services used by women and children. The blatant unfairness and inequality is indefensible.

In fact you can send this to Gideon: <<big, steaming turd>>

Emily1974 Thu 25-Oct-12 18:27:04

It's hard for me to understand why isn't the household income that take into account. Has anyone from the government actually explained this? What happened to the petition we all signed? May be it is just the government's way to get all parents back to work?

expansivegirth Thu 25-Oct-12 18:29:20

Penalising single parents arses me off big time. This government has no respect for single parents, treating us if we are some freakish abnormality. According to Gingerbread TWENTY FIVE PER CENT of families with dependent children are headed by single parents.

Also: the hypocrisy of going on about family values and then penalising mothers (or fathers) who stay home to raise their children. Infuriating.

I have never hated a government more than this one. And I was a teenager through Margaret Thatcher...

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 18:40:23


I am a sahm and have mostly been for 20 years. It doesn't mean we live a life of luxury. When my dc were little the childcare costs would have meant it would have cost me to work, how is that good household management.
Now we would be slightly better off, but only just over breaking even. We are a low income family and just about manage.

SamsGoldilocks Thu 25-Oct-12 19:00:21

As has already Hermes mentioned, child benefit is most commonly paid to the mother. It was set up this way to empower women and ensure they had access to even just a small pot of money to call their own.

I can not believe this is going to be taken away from us. It is clear reading the relationships board that financial independence is vital for so many women. It empowers and enables us. This is worth fighting for, before we even get into the disparity in family household incomes or the ridiculous cost of implementing this half brained scheme.

notenoughsocks Thu 25-Oct-12 19:05:10

I understand the anger at the dual income/single earner anomaly and the cut offs etc. In a sense, I feel this is beside the point.


Once it becomes means tested it is a selective beneift. It is simply then a matter of time before anybody poor enough to claim it (in point of fact on behalf of their child) risks being labeld a scrounger, either dierctly or by implication. You can argue until the cows come home about whether or not the criteria upon which the means test is based. Once it falls into being means tested, those criteria can change fast enough to render much of this debate essentially irrelvant.


Disclaimer: Our household income would have to increase massively to risk losing child benefit next year.

PS, expansive I totall agree: the hypocrisy of going on about family values and then penalising mothers (or fathers) who stay home to raise their children. Infuriating Child benefit, as a universal benefit, was the only recogntion of this. It is now to be removed.

Tincletoes Thu 25-Oct-12 19:05:29

Potato I'm in an almost identical boat to Mandy and I don't think for one minute she's suggesting a house with a SAHP is living a life of luxury. I would say it just all depends, doesn't it, and that's what's so unfair! I know a couple where neither work and so would qualify easily for CB. However, that doesn't take into account the fact they were both recently made redundant from v highly paid jobs in the city on v high salaries - they have no mortgage, live off rental income from their old London flat (but the income will be less than 50k a year) and have literally hundreds of thousands in the bank.

Life just isn't fair, but the massive advantage of a universal benefit is that there are little admin costs. This must be saving the government peanuts after excess admin costs. And of course the v rich will continue to get the CB by virtue of the fact their clever accountant will get taxable earnings down to very little.

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 25-Oct-12 19:13:51

I get a bit annoyed when people describe being a SAHM as a 'luxury'. I have four DCs very close in age and for our family me stayng at home to look after them has been the most practical option. I've tried to make the best of it and enjoy it, but often it's quite hard and very lonely, and sometimes I'd love the 'luxury' of a couple of days at work to live my own life and have a social network and some independence... We have no family around to support us and DH works crazy hours, so financially and practically me being a full time mum was our best option.

If DH and I were both teachers earning around £30k we'd get to keep our child benefit and have the holidays off so no child care required... Yet if DH is a doctor working mad hours for his £60k and I stay at home to accomodate that we lose our benefit! How can that be fair?

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 19:14:26


I am sorry if I came across narky, it wasn't intended. I was meaning to point out that for some they are better off not working. Its strange how some can afford to work and some cant / and the same for staying at home. I agree the rich get richer at the expense of the poorer.
Do you think the super rich will fezz up and donate their cb or not claim?

achillea Thu 25-Oct-12 19:19:36

Basing any benefit on income is outdated. Many people sit on a fortune and have little income. Assessment should be made based on disposable income and take assets into account.

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 25-Oct-12 19:23:51

Would someone be able to answer me the following?

As a SAHM will I be legally obliged to declare my husband's income?

Will it be legal for me to continue to claim child benefit and then wait for the government to claim it back from DH?

Many thanks anyone who can help.

Happybunny12 Thu 25-Oct-12 19:25:36

CelineMcBean if that comment was aimed at me you have SPECTACULARLY missed my point. At what point did I say anything implying it was ok for women to be chattels? Nowhere.

My point is that the argument has been made by many folk on this thread, that a household assessment would be fairer to avoid the 'couple earning £99k keep it, single earner on a lot less loses it' situation. If this were to be implemented (ie assessment of the couple/household) then this, ergo, calls into question the principle of independent assessment for taxation purposes.

The new CB criteria, as Edith has aptly pointed out, chips away at this principle already. So the principle is fairly fundamental to the debate.

Unless CB remains a universal benefit, for which some very good points have been made above.

Pinkmumma Thu 25-Oct-12 19:35:07

I feel like my government undervalues me and my husbands contribution to out society. DH works very hard and it feels like we are punished for this.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 19:42:41

sam - unfortunately, we can't fight for it. The decision has been made in this year's April budget and the provisions for removal were included in the Finance Act 2012. This received royal assent in July of this year and the legislation is now passed.

I don't want to be a smarty pants, I told you so type, but I was/am amazed at the relative lack of push back at the time.

In January of this year, the government said it woukd reconsider matters and then announced there woukd be a sliding scale removal. That seemed to be either relatively accepted or people didn't quite take on board the fact that many of the inherent issues were exactly the same - particularly the 99k one

notenoughsocks Thu 25-Oct-12 19:51:23

SBG - Does this mean that there is absolutlely no way the decision can be reversed?

ByTheWay1 Thu 25-Oct-12 19:59:50

We are in the great position of SOMETIMES being between 50 and 60K - hubby is on performance related pay increases - so last year he would have been paying a quarter back in tax, this year none, next year a half etc..... mmmmm what incentive is there to perform highly if it gets taken away....

izzywizzyisbizzy Thu 25-Oct-12 20:04:05

Freddy, not knocking large families, am expecting a 4th myself, but 4 children is a luxury.

duchesse Thu 25-Oct-12 20:06:39

Luckily, my husband is a world-leading research scientist of 20 years' standing a civil servant and thanks to his 8-year pay freeze (not that you'd believe it if you read the Daily Torygraph) we are still eligible for it as my self-employed earnings are not high (hollow laugh emoticon). Over the last 8 years, as everything has doubled in price while our income has stood still, we have come to rely on the child benefit more and more. Thank goodness we are not losing it tbh- it pays for the children's extracurriculars (music lessons) and their shoes.

Mandy21 Thu 25-Oct-12 20:12:06

Tinletoes - thanks for your post - no I wasn't suggesting that a family with a SAHP live a life of luxury! I do stick to my guns though and say its a choice - and not everyone has the luxury of that choice.

morethanpotatoprints & freddo - I agree that a SAHM can be difficult, the point I was trying to make is that 1 spouse earning £60k with a SAHM means a higher net income than 2 parents, each earning £30k (so the same household income as you) but paying out £1100 a month in child care.

I therefore pay out about £13k in childcare per year, OK some of that is tax deductible but say I have to earn about £15k to pay for that. So my income isn't in fact £30k anymore, its £15k. If you then consider that we (as a household) pay 2 lots of commuting costs, plus we both pay tax and NI (more than if just one of us was paying tax and NI on £60k) and you can see why as a household, we're much worse off than you.

I agree that once you get into the semantics of it all, there is no fair system, but I just wanted to demonstrate that having a cut off based on household income where 2 parents work and pay childcare isn't fair either.

Glittertwins Thu 25-Oct-12 20:15:10

We are affected but will use various legal salary sacrifices to reduce the impact. I use the money to pay for their school lunches, school uniform. When they were really young, it nowhere near covered the amount of nappies and formula for twins either. We have worked very hard to get where we are, including getting through both being made redundant before reaching the age of 30.

Tincletoes Thu 25-Oct-12 20:18:51

Freddo - no you won't have to do anything. But your DH will (assuming he earns above 50k) be asked if his partner claims CB. If the answer is yes then his tax code for the next year will be adjusted depending on exactly what his income was for the previous tax year.

It is going to get v complicated. But not for you personally!

And completely agree that gross income can be a red herring. As someone else said, you could have a new graduate in 3 years with 50k of debt which would go a fair way to wiping out what initially seemed like a good salary.

Tincletoes Thu 25-Oct-12 20:19:53

Ah yes Glitter that is a very very good point. For someone just over the threshold it would be v worth considering making additional pension conts to get below the threshold.

PanicMode Thu 25-Oct-12 20:30:32

I'm sure it's been said, as I've only scanned the thread, but my biggest grumble is that it was the only way that I was able to get pension credits whilst being at home with my children - we have the "luxury" ( as someone upthread put it) of having 4 children, but living in the SE means that we're not loaded at all. I did work until having our surprise number 4, but currently it's not worth it due to the commuting costs and childcare. The CB is important to us, not least because I was getting my HRP credits. From what I read in the paper at the weekend, HMRC will demand the money back at the end of the year - so you can claim it, but you have to pay it all back anyway. I've decided that we'll not claim and I'll just have to pay additional pension contributions until I go back to work in order to make up for the deficit.

This government have treated women shamefully. I feel extremely betrayed by them and I really hope that they get absolutely hammered at the next election. I KNOW we have to tackle the deficit, and a country where 53% of households take more in benefits than they pay in, but this was the only universal benefit, and it was set up to give women who did stay at home a little bit of independence. The sensible way of doing this was to limit the amount paid to say 2 children. Not have this half baked, VERY unfair solution - it cannot be right that a household with 99k gets it, purely because 2 people work, but a household with 53k lose it.

Babyrabbits Thu 25-Oct-12 20:31:46

So as a sahm do women need to claim cb to keep the ni contribution?

If so we need a thread highlighting this to all women!

PanicMode Thu 25-Oct-12 20:33:10

Yes, you do. Otherwise you don't get the HRP.

duchesse Thu 25-Oct-12 20:34:41

Oh, and I should add that we don't get any means-tested tax credits as we earn too much for them.

Iggly Thu 25-Oct-12 20:36:36

It's a stupid idea quite frankly.

Cutting benefits on austerity grounds is one thing.

Cutting them to then introduce a system which is more complicated is bloody stupid.

Child benefit is one of the cheapest to administer when universal. Now it'll be a dog's dinner. I'll have to fill out a tax return just for this?!!

Babyrabbits Thu 25-Oct-12 20:36:49

God no one made that clear did they?

Is edith setting up a thread.....this is the most important aspect for all sahm.

Viviennemary Thu 25-Oct-12 20:39:47

I knew somebody who only worked a few hours a week as a child minder and paid the self employed contribution which was only around £2 a week. Would this protect people's NI contributions? She even paid them when she no longer worked.

I echo what others have said; the dual-income condition is insane. My DH works hard at a job he doesn't enjoy in order that we can pay our bills and allow me to stay at home with 17mo. I am also 5 months pregnant (didn't go back to work so not receiving any maternity pay etc). We couldn't afford for me to go back to work because of the cost of childcare and the commuting time made it nigh on impossible.
Just another example of the government spending the majority of their time with the head up their arse, IMO!

PanicMode Thu 25-Oct-12 20:46:21

Vivinnemary - I think you'd have to be registered as self employed - so I don't think that a SAHP could do that (but happy to be corrected if wrong!). The whole point of CB was that you got full years of NI credits whilst staying at home. THIS is what I'm most livid about.

Viviennemary Thu 25-Oct-12 20:51:59

I agree you would have to be registered as self employed. But you could work only one hour a month or something. Well if Starbucks can get round the tax laws why can't women with children. grin

Glittertwins Thu 25-Oct-12 20:52:23

I would recommend doing the maths and your aversion to risk before making choices on salary sacrifices. To bring DH's salary totally under the threshold, we would have to make quite a large pension payment that would be considerably more cash than the monthly cash reduction through tax.
Potentially we could get that extra pension back when he retires but then there is the risk towards the stock market crashing right before retirement which wipes out any of our hard earned saving. This has happened to many who have retired in the past couple of years.

poppyknot Thu 25-Oct-12 20:56:02

It is the frightening incompetence of the way this has been introduced , first as a pre-conference idea and followed a year later by an equally incompetent revison,

I remember the initial interview with Geo. Osborne on the Today programme beofre he announced it and then and there James Naughtie pointed out the two income anomaly.

This still remains as even though they upped the level at which it kicks in the anomaly still reins supreme.

"Oh but means testing would be too expensive" they howl. so instead they introduce a system that does not even have historic equivalents. Many, many financial experts have criticised this non-system and there was even a pained expanation from someone last week about the difference between unclaiming and disclaiming (or something) as the question of National insurance credits does to seem to have been tackled. Have they costed how many will claim and then have to have it clawed back a year later, over a year? Administration costs? Change of circumstance?

DH two years ago could have been affected but a salary drop has since made the change unapplicable to us by a long way.

However I still rage about it as it is so useless, unwieldy and ill-thought out. I am now cross again!

Princessdivaaa Thu 25-Oct-12 21:03:10

I agree with what a lot of others have said here already...

We will lose the CB.. (Just)

I'm a SAHM and I use the money for kids activities, school bits and pieces and I try to put a little away for future college funds...

Can we campaign the government to change this policy?

Xenia Thu 25-Oct-12 21:04:25

It is a women's right issues. We fought so very hard to gain separate taxation of husband and wife - a major feminist triumph and now your income will again be lumped together and people will be obliged to let their other half know what they earn - massive confidentiality issue.

Yes, I am affected - single mother of 5 who loses it.

The impact is that one stops buying into the compact - that we are in this together. Instead you feel excluded - that you are in the 1% who pay some massive % of the tax in this country and get very very little back except whingeing benefits claimants who do not appreciate that you work nearly 7 days a week 50 weeks a year to keep them all . That the one thing you actually got from the state (I have never had a tax credit for example) to recognise the effort you put into the next generation - and my daughters alrady in their 20s higher or almost higher rate tax payers - so I am producing exactly the children the state most needs - is in some sense appreciated. In stead you buy out rather than you buy out and that compact between citizen and state is totally destroyed - you lose your sense of appreciation of the state and your place in it and feel you might as well head off somewhere taxes are lower and you are appreciated as a major net contributor.

Universal benefits make us feel part of society. Restricting them mean that we then choose to ensure lawfully the state is paid much less tax - we feel like outliers.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 21:04:39

not - the only way would if the government chose not to enforce the relevant part of the act link. However, I think they are extremely unlikely to do that and it is always there, hanging round the books.

The other alternative is that the relevant part if the Act in chapter 2 is revoked. Again, I think the government are highly unlikely to do that in the basis that it has been through the various committees etc and Joe Public had the chance to make appropriate representations but didn't or didn't strongly enough as the government would see it

This is something we could ask if there was a webcast though. I reported mt post to Mumsnet in the hope that someone will come on today/tomorrow and say if it is feasible for them to request that.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 21:05:05

webchat not webcast

CelineMcBean Thu 25-Oct-12 21:14:03

Happybunny12 Get over yourself. My comments are my comments and if I was talking to you you'd know about it. I don't do passive aggressive.

Pyrrah Thu 25-Oct-12 21:17:19

No you do not have to claim to get pension credits.

I had the question specifically asked in Parliament to check this earlier in the year.

Also spoke to the CB department at HMRC this afternoon who confirmed that pension credits will continue to be allocated.

Happybunny12 Thu 25-Oct-12 21:18:02

CelineMcBean whatever you reckon, love.

Babyrabbits Thu 25-Oct-12 21:21:08

Thank god! What a hassle for so many.

To think i voted for these muppets.

PanicMode Thu 25-Oct-12 21:23:10

Really Pyrrah? There was an article in the Telegraph at the weekend explaining the changes and it advised one to claim to protect pension credits. How do I exist for the state if I am not earning, being paid any benefits or in any way visible to HMRC?!

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 21:24:37

Agreed babyrabbits. Fir the first time in my life, I am genuinely at a loss as to who I would vote for at the next General Election. I actually wonder if I'll have to make an absolute choice to abstain

Iggly Thu 25-Oct-12 21:25:09

<comes back to rage some more>

The idiot Tories still haven't addressed the inherent unfairness of two earning just under £100k getting it vs one parent over £60k not.

They should just make it universal. End of. Given how few household actually earn 50k+ anyway (average household income is around £30k), that seems better to me.

Fuck wits.

CelineMcBean Thu 25-Oct-12 21:25:13

Love? That's very patronising Happybunny12. Did you mean to be so rude?

Any hoo, back to those asking sensible questions about NI credits, there is a form for people to compete to receive these which I referenced up thread (CF411A Application form for credits for parents and carers) but at the moment you wouldn't need to complete it because you'd be getting child benefit.

There needs to be clear information about how people can protect their pension entitlement and at the moment there isn't.

Iggly Thu 25-Oct-12 21:28:07

Oh and the pedant in me feels the need to point out that the Inland Revenue dont exist any more. It's HMRC now.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 21:28:27

celine - the cynical part of me thinks that the government wants it it be as Byzantine and complex as possible. The less people who claim the credits, the cheaper it is....

I'm not generally a paranoid type but I have a general sense of untrustworthiness and bad faith when it comes to the current government b

Xenia Thu 25-Oct-12 21:30:21

For simple cases like I am - full time working single mother loses it all - You can either leave it being paid and then they claw it back on your tax return which is what I will do or you can save HMRC some costs and have the CB stopped.

CelineMcBean Thu 25-Oct-12 21:30:44

There's also no HRP any more Iggly wink It's National Insurance Credits now.

issimma Thu 25-Oct-12 21:32:07

If you cancel it, as xenia suggests below, what happens to NI contributions? (In the case of SAHMs)

CelineMcBean Thu 25-Oct-12 21:33:27

Oh I completely agree shinyblackgrape. Dh and I have decided that it's not worth the hassle of him having to do a tax return for what will probably be less than £200 but we don't know because dh's bonus makes a difference.

I cannot believe this is going to be cheaper to administer than the current system. Isn't cost the argument the one that's wheeled out to enable millionaire pensioners to keep their winter fuel allowance? So unfair.

Babyrabbits Thu 25-Oct-12 21:34:31

I'm thinking lets make it the most exspensive option for the government that we can.

If i continure to claim it do i not need to fill out the form?

I'm going back to voting green.

EddieVeddersfoxymop Thu 25-Oct-12 21:36:05

I am so angry about this that I may just combust. We will lose it......but the child benefit is in MY name, not my DH.

I worked in an industry previously where people had to disclose their financial circumstances - you'd be amazed at how many couples do not know what each other earns. Why should my DH's salary have ANYTHING to do with my receipt of a benefit for my daughter? He has worked bloody hard to get us to where we are, he pays 40% tax, pays into his own pension and mine to ensure we are ok into retirement, he pays for insurances and private medical care to ensure we are never a burden to anyone........and yet the government sees fit to remove a benefit which is mine?

I appreciate that we can afford to lose it...however, when will the government explain how they can justify a family earning under the threshold and therefore having more take home pay than we do can keep it?

I cannot believe they are going ahead with this utter to they propose this will save money when all the affected people will now have to complete complex tax returns which needs administering?

Child benefit is a UNIVERSAL benefit, paid to help with the costs of raising a child. The news reports that Britain is supposedly out of recession now - so hey, lets take away money from the economy that might just keep it that way! Nonsense.

We are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, not in the slightest, and to lose child benefit is a huge blow. We only have one child, through choice......I get so angry seeing my Dh's tax going to fund those benefit families who have child after child, because they can, safe in the knowledge that the state will provide.

I wrote to my local MP about this, whose half arsed reply simply stated that those who can afford to lose it, should. That does not constitute an answer <Malcolm Bruce, I'm glaring with fury at you>

I need to go and climb down off my soapbox now. This may take a while......confused

LittlePicnic Thu 25-Oct-12 21:36:06

I agree with above posters that it is unfair- that a family on 99k will stay get it whilst a sahm and husband working won't, once his wages meet the threshold. This is especially difficult given the history of this benefit going typically to the mother to provide for the children. It points to the fact that the austerity measures seem to be affecting women more than men.
Also shows this government aren't concerned about child poverty and they certainly are not interested in women being in the workplace, for example.
All the progress done in the last 40 years is being undone with more women having to be sahm.
Being a sahm isn't a luxury; many do so because the financial rewards of working are minimal once you pay for childcare and transport to work, work clothes and shoes etc. Plus it is better for children (in most cases) to be looked after by their parents.
Most of all I think the system needed will be unworkable. How can you pay a benefit to one person and then take it back from another? So complicated to implement and therefore expensive.
I think the government know that people will probably just put it into savings- if your other half gets a variable salary/bonus, all you can do is save it, pay out the amount requested in tax for each new tax year/ time for self-assessment. This will actually stop people spending it- who wants a big tax bill 12 months later?

Silibilimili Thu 25-Oct-12 21:36:09

My husband and I both earn above the threshold. What we have been receiving so far just goes into savings for my children's future like uni fees. So I don't mind losing it if it means people who really NEED it get it. However, I planned to have children after being financially settled. I only had 2 kids as I know we won't be able to afford 3. So I think the following should be done:

1. Child Benefit should e based on overall family income.
2. It should be capped at 2 children.

It should not be seen as an allowance for mother to stay at home.

3. Grandparents or other family who look after children should be rewarded by either giving them tax cuts or being able to pay them in hold care vouchers

Viviennemary Thu 25-Oct-12 21:36:42

I don't know who I'd vote for at the next General Election. Certainly not Lib Dem. And I don't much like Labour or Conservative. Voted Labour last time. Goodness knows why!

notenoughsocks Thu 25-Oct-12 21:38:43

Thanks sbg
I hope they may yet 'reverse' their decision out of a fear of alienating too many women voters. The way the policy has been cast has made it too easy to talk about it as something that the more well-off can afford to give up (after all, we are all in this together hmm).

I'll just take a moment to share iggly's rage.


Asinine Thu 25-Oct-12 21:38:50

T offs
O ld Etonians
R ight wing
Y ahs

Anyone else want to play angry acronyms?

I agree with the posters making the point about losing universality of CB being the first step to more attacks on it. Even Xenia grin

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 21:38:59

can we try a mass tweeting tonight to Question Time to see if the question can at least be asked about the "fairness"of the way the cuts are going to be implemented?

By that, I mean the divorce issue and the general issue of unfairness in that two people earning slightly under the threshold contine to receive but one earner just over won't link

I also think the general issue of the fact that the government is expecting couples to share tax information and removing the benefit from principally women (as the stay at home parent generally) needs addressed. What if that woman's partner doesnt top her up or share finances equally?!

Babyrabbits Thu 25-Oct-12 21:41:52

I think they figure like stamp duty which we now all have to pay, in ten years time no one will get Child benefit.

pumpkinhellokitty Thu 25-Oct-12 21:43:42

i hadnt heard about this my dh earns £46k
i earn £10k
so we r safe

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 21:44:22

not - I seriously doubt they will reverse it, I'm sorry to say. You're more likely it get an offer to go and work as a scullery maid for George Osbourne on 10p an hour to top your income up! sorry, that was very childish but it's how I feel!

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 21:44:43


I wasn't being personal but there is no difference. You paying 13k childcare per year still means you have earned this money through your work. You may have less left than somebody earning the same and not paying childcare but both examples have earned 60k. This is why I don't work myself I know people who clear £500 per month when everything is deducted and as I really wanted to be a sahm I couldn't justify working for so little.
Other people would rather work for nothing than be a sahm, its whats best for you really.

scottishmummy Thu 25-Oct-12 21:45:00

will lose cb
the discrepancies are bizarre
they haven't set an equal tariff for all cb recipients

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 25-Oct-12 21:45:05

This policy is an absolute shambles. The only reason they are doing it is to make it look like the rich are shouldering the burden, so that they can get away with inflicting the cuts on the poor and the disabled. There is no way it will save much money if any at all. It is purely political so it gives them cover for all the other cuts they are inflicting on people. In the meantime, the richest 1% get a 5% tax cut.

A man earning £50k a year who supports a wife and 3 DC is in the 5th income decile, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies income calculator. The richest are definitely not shouldering the burden. That is simply not true and it doesn't matter how many times they try and justify it. They are talking bollocks.

pumpkinhellokitty Thu 25-Oct-12 21:47:37

my dh earns 55k does this mean we r safe?
does it only count his earnings

Asinine Thu 25-Oct-12 21:48:02

I doubt they'll reverse it, but I'd get enormous pleasure to watch IDS, Cameron or Osborne being forced to admit in interview that their policy is both unfair and illogical.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 21:50:03

baby - if you continue to claim, then the higher earner in your family will need to fill in a self assessment tax return so it can be clawed back.

My DH is self employed and his accountant has said it won't be too much of a pain as he's getting one done anyway and I understand it will just be a box that is ticked and it will be clawed back that way. Will be a bit more of a ball ache to fill in if you are employed and don't have other income to declare as you will just fill the form in for that

Actually, vis a vis my comment above about women (or stay at home parents) not getting due to a higher earning partner. If yiu are at all concerned about your partner not sharing finances etc, just keep claiming and tell partner to repay by way of the tax return.

Silibilimili Thu 25-Oct-12 21:50:21

All the recent policies coming out are drawn up by idiots. From schools to child benefits to giving aid to India.

We need to vote these dumb inbred idiots out. But who can take their place!?

notenoughsocks Thu 25-Oct-12 21:52:57

no offence taken sbg

I am not even close to being directly affected but I can't quite accept that this is really happening. This is such a basic central issue for women, for the structure of social securtity etc That it is being done in the name of 'fairness' makes me giddy with rage. For once, I find myself in total agreement with Xenia.

Kellnic Thu 25-Oct-12 21:54:19

The people managed to make the Tories look stupid over Poll Tax. The people can try to do the same over this crazy policy. Mums - time to make a stand?... Enough's enough?

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 21:54:50

I am a little confused. Why would anyone on 50k a year need or miss £20 a week?

pombear Thu 25-Oct-12 21:56:14

I'm another one who doesn't really understand the difference between dual and single income households.

I am a single parent. I believe in the benefit system being a safety net for those who really need it. I went back to full time work when I became a single parent because I didn't feel that I personally should claim benefits when I was able to work. Child benefit, being a universal one, was the only one I continued to receive.

I've worked hard. It's meant I've been able to gradually get to a wage that now puts me a fraction above the limit. Bit of luck, bit of sacrific, lots of graft.

I understand why there is a feeling that not everyone needs this benefit. I can cope if it is withdrawn. But the way it's applied feels like a slap in the face.

I don't understand how it is still 'needed' for couples who bring in a much higher household income.

I don't understand why I am therefore deemed earning too much to receive it, but the couple next door bringing in together 95K aren't?

Though can I ask a stupid question - is the earnings limit before tax, or after tax?

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 21:56:21

pumpkin - its based on his net adjusted income. Here's a link to work it out.

MerseyMama Thu 25-Oct-12 21:58:18

This is a genuine question not an attack, why would a family with a wage earner of over 50k need cb. My dh earns 21k and I am a sahm partly due to my disability and we have four children. We are not rich but we manage fine.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 21:58:41


I too often wondered that, but realised that like any other income people become reliant on it. Some who don't need it keep it for savings, trust fund investments, uni fees,. Those on 90K beats me, I don't comprehend either.

MerseyMama Thu 25-Oct-12 21:59:58

We would however really struggle without cb isn't that what it's for families that really need it for day to day childhood expenses?

sweetkitty Thu 25-Oct-12 21:59:59

We will lose it next year as well, for 4 DCs it's £242 every 4 weeks.

My DH is already paying more in tax than a couple earning half his salary each, I am of the opinion you do not get to earn over 50K without working pretty hard, you probably have a degree and student loans and work a lot more hours than 9-5, then you work really hard for years get a pay rise, it gets taxed at 40% and you lose your child benefit as well.

So my neighbours can still earn 99K between them and not lose their child benefit, the whole thinking behind this is a complete disgrace.

I would also love to know where all the money is coming for to write the letters, file the replies, chase them up etc it will probably be as wonderful as the Child Tax Credits system.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 22:00:02

pom - it's based on adjusted net income. Here's a link to work it out. It might be that yiu can reduce that income by way of salary sacrifice. So, if yiu can swap some of your gross salary in return for benefits from your employer or increased pension contributions. Although, someone up the thread made the point that yiu have to factor in the risk of non-performing pensions

KitKatGirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 22:00:05

And sorry, it is not correct that one person earning 60K pays less tax and Ni than two each earning 30K as they are both benefitting from the initial tax threshold of (soon to be) 10K and also do not have the higher rate tax threshold kicking in at 43K ish.

Dh earns (gross) about the same as dsis and dbil combined (gross) but they bring home a lot more net income than he does.

CelineMcBean Thu 25-Oct-12 22:00:51

Many people claim it just for the protection to the state pension. At least that is the case for many of my friends and acquaintances.

KitKatGirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 22:01:01

x-post with sweet kitty.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 25-Oct-12 22:01:09

Panda - If you have 3 or more DC it isn't £20 a week, it's nearly £50 plus a week. We will lose nearly £2,500k a year with 3 DC. We are not on the breadline by the way, but we can't afford to buy our own home. We pay silly rent to a private landlord. My DH commutes to London every day and that in itself is expensive. I do not have the luxury of saving the CB. The DC always need shoes, school trips, etc. We will really miss the money TBH. I could accept it if it was being fairly implemented, but it's not. I have friends on a joint income of £80k a year and 3 buy to let properties. How is right that they can keep it and we can't?

LilyBolero Thu 25-Oct-12 22:03:38

Child benefit should be universal. It is simple, and it is fair. Everyone is a child once, everyone gets child benefit.

The reason Child Benefit is paid by HMRC and not DWP is because it used to be a TAX ALLOWANCE. This was recognition that if you were supporting children, your salary had to stretch further, so you were allowed to keep a little more of it.

It was then changed to being a benefit. And this makes it easier to argue for scrapping it, saying someone on 50k 'doesn't need a handout'. Whereas in its inception it was an allowance to cover some of the costs of raising children who will hopefully contribute to GDP as they start to work.

The incompetent management of this policy is something else. Families on 99k keep it, families on 50k start to lose it. Husbands and wives no longer are able to keep their tax affairs confidential. Millions more people will have to fill in self assessment forms. People earning 50k+ are hit with a marginal tax rate of 70%+, when people earning 150k + have their tax rate reduced, because 50% is 'too high'.

Total mess, and wrong policy. Take it back to being a tax allowance, because that is a clearer way of seeing what child benefit is for - it is to allow you to keep a little more of your income while you have more people to support on it.

notenoughsocks Thu 25-Oct-12 22:03:43

MerseyMama I am terrible at explaining things. I hope that somebody more articulate will take the trouble to answer your question. If they haven't by morning, I will try and compose a coherent reply since I really do think this is a crucial issue. I didn't want you to think that I was ignoring that question.

pombear Thu 25-Oct-12 22:04:03

Thanks Shiny. I'm OK at my job, but completely at a loss when it comes to figures!

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 22:05:40

I still say 50k is a lot of money to earn in a year and that it is not needed regardless of if a single parent or couple.

Obviously it is wrong that a couple should get a higher threshold than a single person. Unless kitKatgirl is correct and it balances out due to tax.

I am not having a dig at anyone, I admire people who work hard and get on in life but ask yourself, Do I really need that extra £20 a week?

I also think they should means test all benefits including the winter payments the Government gives pensioners but hey thats another thread smile

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 22:07:06

and that child benefit is not needed

Asinine Thu 25-Oct-12 22:08:03


Lots of people earning £50k+ are saying they object that the dual income families on £49+£49k keep CB, whilst the single earner families on nearly half that lose out. It's illogical, that's the objection.

Asinine Thu 25-Oct-12 22:09:27

Sorry xposted

Xenia Thu 25-Oct-12 22:11:28

£50,000 i s £688 a week after tax assuming no student loan. £35 781.
Housing benefit if I claimed it would be £20,000. So if I did not work the state would give me £20k towards rent alone - so that leaves £15,871 net that I as a worker if I wer eon £50k a year would have . The benefits claimant with her family of 2 children what would she get as well as that massive sum in rent? CB, - some give me an idea, prescription charges, some kind of income support - let us assume her children are 3 so unlike the worker who out of her net £35k or net £15k after she's paid £20k to househerself also pays for child care so she can work the benefits claimant... basicallyh I am trying to work out if a £50ker in fact in terms of net pay is not that much better off than some benefits claimants. And those who think wow £50k forget is it £36 789 after tax, that that person also then pays rent or mortgage, prescription charges and travel costs and childcare costs.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 25-Oct-12 22:12:10

It won't stop at this either. Once they've got away with this, how long before they decide that people on £50k a year don't 'need' free health care, schools, etc. Mark my words, this is the slippery slope. As William Beveridge said, "services for poor people are poor services" (or something along those lines anyway). Once people do not get these services any more they will become disenfranchised and wonder why anyone else should get them.

duchesse Thu 25-Oct-12 22:12:57

MerseyMama- How much do you think a family living on £50000/year actually get in their bank account every month?

Genuine question, as I feel that there is incomprehension on both sides.

I am also not having a go, but on your DH's earnings I would imagine that you are as a family rightly receiving a fair number of benefits to top your income up to a livable level (including housing help, council tax help etc...). People earning above £42,000/year don't get any of these things and pay a fair amount of tax too.

As a family our net monthly income is £2600. We pay for everything from that, including council tax, housing etc.... We are not badly off and we live very frugally but it is a struggle most of the time.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 22:14:01


I know what you mean but alot of people look at it differently. For e.g they have high rent, cars, childcare, health care costs, commuting costs, pensions etc that take up their wages. We don't those have those costs and lifestyle so they use cb for their dc instead of their wages. We don't have wages or they are very limited so we need our cb for dc.
That is the best way of describing it, really its down to lifestyle choice.

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 22:16:05

xenia The maximum housing benefit for a 2 bedroomed house in the town where I live is £85 per week. If you choose to live in a bigger house, (unless you have lots of children) you pay the difference, so where do you get the figure of 20k housing benefit from. The councils will only pay so much towards rent regardless of how many children you have.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 25-Oct-12 22:17:04

As I said upthread, a family of 5 on £50k a year are in the 5th income decile according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies income calculator. That means that 50% of households are better off than this family on £50k.

GrendelsMum Thu 25-Oct-12 22:18:09

I agree with what a lot of other people have said - fair enough to only give benefits like child benefit (and winter fuel payments) only to people below a certain income, but it would be good if that was actually the household income, not the income of individuals in the household.

aliphil Thu 25-Oct-12 22:18:40

where families choose to have one parent staying at home, isn't that a luxury that most people can't afford?

Mandy, it's really not always a choice. I can't afford to work, and won't be able to until DD is at school, because even if I could find a job, it wouldn't cover childcare costs, and we've no family locally. I've been unemployed since March last year; no redundancy because I was on a contract, couldn't find a job, no JSA after the first six months because DH earns just over the threshold, no maternity pay because I got pregnant just too long after losing my job. And yes, I chose to have DD (having tried for four years, I couldn't face giving that up), and fortunately we can get by. But I am amazed at some of the complaints here. I entirely agree that the dual/single income thing is appallingly unfair. But we get by, in the south-east, on less than half the £50K people are saying isn't enough. I just wish I could afford to put the CB away for DD as people keep telling me I should!

peppapigpants Thu 25-Oct-12 22:19:29

I still have no idea how separated parents are treated. If the children's father earns £100k, but doesn't live with their mother, who earns £40k, does she get child benefit or not? What happens if she meets a new man and they start living together and he earns £60k? They aren't even his children! And maybe he had a child with his ex and she earns £35k but since the father earns £60k she loses her CB too even though he doesn't live with her.....

duchesse Thu 25-Oct-12 22:21:29

I have just done this thingie and it tells me that 34% of the population live on less than us.

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 22:22:38

morethan Benefits are supposed to be a safety net for those who find themselves in difficult circumstances not to be used as extra money to fund lifestyle choices.

I see your point but if they have high rent then move to somewhere more affordable and within your means. Childcare, yes I agree, ridiculous prices and that should be looked at. Commuting, well my ex has to commute and he is on minimum wage so don't see why child benefit should help towards that. confused And we would all love to have a good pension but again child benefit is for the child, not to ensure we have a pension.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 22:22:50

boggle - I love the way that having a private pension is described as a -^lifestyle choice^. hmm

DH and I pay a fair whack of our incomes in to our private pensions. The reason being thAt we work on the basis that pensions will probably be means tested or phased out in the future and therefore it's a responsible thing to do. Once again we'll subsidise those who can't or won't make their own savings for retirement.

Actually, sometimes I think we should just fuck it. Piss all of our money up the wall and then stand their with our hands out.

purpleroses Thu 25-Oct-12 22:23:53

Peppa - only the income of the parent the child lives with counts or their partner It doesn't matter how much their other parent earns. Not fair at all but that's how they're doing it.

sweetkitty Thu 25-Oct-12 22:24:06

I believe that if you person earns 50K, they pay 8K more tax than two people earning 25K each (think it was in MN so must be true), due to the personal allowance and not paying the 40% rate.

If they are going to take it away make it simple and fair. Cap it at 2 children maximum but keep it universal.

Of if you they are going backwards and taxing women with their husbands then go all the way and allow husbands (and wives) to use the SAHPs Personal Allowance.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 25-Oct-12 22:24:52

I'm actually quite looking forward to the fall out when the whole thing goes tits up, which it will. It can't fail to. Look at tax credits - under payments, over payments, what a bloody nightmare. George Osborne should be made to foot the bill out of his own pocket when it becomes clear to all how expensive it will end up becoming. The more I think about it, the more I realise what an impossible task this will be to police and monitor. It is a complete joke. Look forward to watching them squirm.

Piemistress Thu 25-Oct-12 22:25:02

Wow that adjusted net income thing looks very complicated or am I just being thick and sleep deprived! So is it £50,000 a year net income rather than gross? Ie. after tax, pension and child are vouchers have come off?

duchesse Thu 25-Oct-12 22:25:17

shiny, in fairness you won't because private pension funds aren't going to be handing out money to people who haven't contributed to them. The only thing those without pension funds will get is state pension- which is barely enough to live on at the moment and I can't imagine will improve.

Tincletoes Thu 25-Oct-12 22:25:18

Peppa - if the man on 100k is the one claiming CB then he will lose it, if his estranged spouse on 40k does then she won't. But yes she will if she then moves in with 60k boyfriend.

sydneysuze Thu 25-Oct-12 22:25:27

I have a very basic objection to this. Child benefit was originally conceived as a universal benefit to the mother, regardless of the wage or wealth of her partner. This meant that all women, even those in controlling relationship situations, could access some money to help feed/clothe their children.

'Labour's Barbara Castle was responsible for a Child Benefit Bill, which was enacted in 1975. The bill replaced family allowance with a benefit for each child, which Castle insisted was paid to the mothers. The act was not implemented immediately because of the economic crisis of the mid-1970s. Replacing tax allowance, child benefit was finally put into force.'

link to national archive

Once we start looking at the family's finances before providing benefit we lose yet another lifeline for thousands of women. Added to all the other incremental attacks on ordinary women's financial independence over the last couple of years this is starting to seem like policy.

tilder Thu 25-Oct-12 22:27:05

I would like to understand the implications if any for ni/pension
I would like to know timescale on implementation
I would like to know how it will be implemented eg do I need to fill in a form
I would like to know why it is seen as politically acceptable to take money from babies and children but not from pensioners at the same end of financial income.

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 22:27:31

Feel I might have been slightly harsh on the threshold, not too sure as I live oop North and it is obviously cheaper to live here than down South.

I still think most families should be able to manage well off 50k but it has to be fair, why should a single person lose out and like pepperpigpants asks what happens in the case of separations, step families etc?

Tincletoes Thu 25-Oct-12 22:27:39

No Pie the adjusted net means net of pension (and some other bits), not net of tax. Nice and easy to understand, isn't it!!

MerseyMama Thu 25-Oct-12 22:27:57

Duchesse- no you only get housing benefit and council tax benefit if you earn below 17000 where I live. I appreciate that you pay a lot of tax on £50k but no where near enough to make it feel like living in 21k minus tax.
Also can't remember who said someone who earns 50k plus must have worked very hard and got student loans etc so did my dh he has a masters he earns 21k because there are no jobs.

MerseyMama Thu 25-Oct-12 22:28:38

We do get tax credits though

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 22:29:29


I'm totally with you and believe me struggled with this for a long time.
But reading threads on here, its just how some people choose to live and justify their lifestyle. Its the same as the argument about income. Somebody earning 15k but spending 13k on childcare can believe they only earn 2k.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 22:35:44

duchesse - my point is this. By the time DH and I retire, the state pension will be either entirely phased out apart from only to those in the most dire straits or means tested. This has to be the case as the deficit is huge.

Therefore, DH and I are paying in to our private pension so that we will have income to retire on. However, due to this income, we're unlikely to receive a state pension. Therefore, by making the lifestyle choice to save privately for retirement, we're actually reducing our chances of receiving any state pension and once again subsidising others. Those who can't, I don't have an issue with. Although there are various levels of "can't" and some are more deserving than others. Those who "won't", I do have an issue with.

I'm quite aware of how private pensions work though so rest assured that I'm not under the ridiculous delusion that my private pension will be distributed to some random who has never paid in to the fund hmm

However, I strongly object to private pension contributions being described as a lifestyle choice similar to wintering in barbados every year. It is not and, again, those who chose to do make private contributions -- as responsible people-- will once again probably be subsidising (by way of the inevitable phasing out of the state pension) those who can't or won't save

Piemistress Thu 25-Oct-12 22:38:07

Thanks tincle, no mention of if child care vouchers salary sacrifice is included or not (or did I miss that bit!)

sweetkitty Thu 25-Oct-12 22:39:00

Merseymama - it was me who said that, I know, from my own experience that a degree doesn't always mean a good paying job, the point I'm making is in general to reach 50K you have to work very hard, companies will not pay that sort of salary for nothing. In a lot of professions such as nursing you will probably never have that salary no matter how hard you work (but that's another thread entirely).

Instead of penalising SAHPs maybe they should start looking at affordable childcare so SAHPs who want to work actually can. I have always thought the school day should be extended with 3-5pm being for homework and sports/music clubs, breakfast clubs in the morning and quality holiday clubs. And affordable care for the under 5s as well.

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 22:39:14

Having been on benefits and a single parent I am able to give you a breakdown of what you actually get in my area for a single person with two children

£108 child tax credit per week
£70 Income support per week
£35 Child benefit
£85 Housing Benefit

Equalling £298 per week

£15496 per year.

Not 20k plus just for housing.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 22:44:58

panda - so that's net income?

What about council tax? Is that subsidised? I would presume you also got am exemption for prescription and dental costs?

I don't want to sound as though I'm cross examining you but all of that needs to be added in to

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 22:48:17

Yes, sorry council tax of around £100 a month and yes free school dinners and the likes. It is enough to live off comfortably enough if careful with money but not enough for luxuries such as holidays, which is quite right in my opinion as like I said earlier, benefits are there for support in times of need and not to be relied on which is what far too many do!

Mum2Luke Thu 25-Oct-12 22:49:46

I totally agree Duchesse, my dh works long hours to earn his 50K (before outgoings), we have only one child on cb as the two older ones are working. I work part-time for 5-10 hours a week as a casual catering assistant in local school kitchens covering when people are off sick/looking after sick children which pays for my clothes and diesel for the family car.

Everything comes out of his wage including pensions contributions and healthcare, we hardly ever go out very much together, don't smoke and don't buy extravagant clothes.

I have always worked even when at home with all 3 of mine, as a Childminder and Care Assistant working for a Nursing Agency but am not able to do this due to arthritis in my leg.

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 22:51:39

What does everyone think the cap on child benefit should be then if any?

WearingGreen Thu 25-Oct-12 22:55:40

"Peppa - if the man on 100k is the one claiming CB then he will lose it, if his estranged spouse on 40k does then she won't. But yes she will if she then moves in with 60k boyfriend."

and if boyfriend has dcs with 49K earning ex, she can claim for them, so a separated couple earning millions can still claim just so long as the one claiming is under the threshold.


duchesse Thu 25-Oct-12 22:56:35

I don't think there should be a cap on it. As others have said, it was conceived of as a universal benefit that everyone in this country under 40 has benefited from even if they don't have children of their own. It gives a bit of independence to the mothers, who are most often the ones at home with the children and who even if they are in an apparently high-income family may be in difficult circumstances with their partner exerting financial control. Universal benefits are much easier and cheaper to administer. For what CB cost in payments to people who didn't really need it it wasn't worth turning means-tested.

It looks good as a sound-bite and I'm sure it pleased the right of the Tory party but I seriously hope it will rear and bite Gideon in the bum big time. Although I'm sure he'll find some poor junior civil servant to take the rap <haven't been watching too many episodes of Yes Minister no sirree>.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 22:57:20

Panda - I don't think there should be any cap for those who are working. I think it should be provided for all as a tax allowance.

However, I do think that for those on benefits, it should form part of the overall benefits cap.

notenoughsocks Thu 25-Oct-12 22:57:20

Lily Sorry to be a pendant, but Child Benefits were actually formed out of a combination of tax allowances and child benefits.

Child tax allowances were granted for each and every child in recognition of the fact that ‘if you were supporting children, your salary had to stretch further.’ However, they tax allowances tend to benefit the better off (i.e. those who earned over and above the tax thresholds). Because of the way the tax system used to work, child tax allowances were normally paid to fathers (i.e. on the breadwinner’s paypacket). On the other hand, family allowances were a universal benefit paid directly to mothers. Everybody received the same amount, however much they earned. Family allowances were only paid for second and subsequent children.

In the early 1970s, the then Conservative Government designed a shiny new ‘Tax-Credit scheme’. Under this scheme, tax allowances and family allowances would be merged into a new ‘Child Tax Credit’. This would be paid, usually, on the father’s wage packet. However – and I find this part of the story inspiring - women and women’s organisations kicked up such a stink that the Government ended up having to promise that mothers would not lose their right to collect the family allowance, or its new equivalent. This was very much a women’s rights issue. It was also a children’s welfare issue. The CPAG pointed out that benefits paid via women were more likely to end up being spent on children. The Tax-Credit Scheme as a whole was never implemented (too many problems with it). By then though, the proposed Child Tax Credit had become detached from the Tax-Credit scheme. Partly because of the reactions from women, and the poverty lobby, it morphed into Child Benefit. This was – and is still today - a universal, tax-free credit paid on account of each and every child, paid, paid usually to the mother.

Sorry to go on, but since I am here I will try and answer the earlier question about why all families should get it – even those greedy rich ones who spend it all on fripperies. As Lily said, and imho I agree, family allowances, tax credits and child benefits emodied the notion that society was and should be, to some degree, collectively responsible for the welfare of its children, that is for the next generation who, as Lily said will hopefully contribute to GDP as they start to work. In the eyes of some, child benefits were an important advance for women also. They made a token gesture towards recognising the work the (usually it was the) mother did, and the career opportunities she would probably have sacrificed to raise those children. Child ‘Benefit’ is not currently a benefit in the way that we normally now think of benefits. It was universal. Universal benefits are held to be important for three reasons that I can think of. Firstly, as Xenia said, universal benefits confer a stake in society. Second, once any benefit becomes selective or means-tested, it can be whittled away; recipients can, over time, be cast as un-deserving or scroungers. Thirdly, universal benefits for children can be seen as a way of maintaining the work incentives that are damaged by means-tested systems. (ooo, and a fourth, they are simple and everybody that is entitled to them normally claims them and does not feel bad for doing so).

Sorry to go on. If I have x-posted, I apologise. The whole issue has made me very cross angry and this is - honest - my last post on the matter tonight.

Boggler Thu 25-Oct-12 22:57:27

Hey panda to get your £16k in benefits (inc council tax) per year I'd have to earn somewhere in the region of £24k before tax and NI etc. Tbh £16k for doing sod all doesn't sound too bad.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 22:59:07

Cross posts with duchesse and agree with the points re Gideon -- who has a face I would never tire of slapping--

WearingGreen Thu 25-Oct-12 22:59:21

I don't think there should be a cap because it fucks with the idea of independent taxation, it bases a benefit for children on who the resident parent is sleeping with and its pointlessly complex.

duchesse Thu 25-Oct-12 23:00:06

That's rather uncalled for Boggler.

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 23:01:42

boggler, I totally agree, its shitty. I don't think people should be allowed to sit on their arses and claim 16k forever! My own personal story is one of poor mental health and splitting up from my partner. I wont bore you with the details but will just say I am working hard at college in order to get a 24k + job then I will not have to rely on *any benefits.

Headinbook Thu 25-Oct-12 23:04:09

Apologies for jumping straight into this discussion, but the link to it on Twitter brought me here in the first place.

I think that this is probably just the first of the universal benefits to be means tested. Regardless of whether those (of us) affected can afford to lose the money, I think it's really important to make a noise about a government implementing something which is arbitrary, unfair and almost unworkable.

If I were a cynic, I would suspect that the target group was well chosen -so little likely to attract sympathy that the precedent is easily & irreversibly set for dismantling other universal benefits.

I blogged about this a while ago, and the gist of my argument is to wonder if it can still legitimately be called "Child Benefit" at all.

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 23:07:05

shiny I don't agree with that. If it doesn't have a cap then it doesn't have a cap. Can't just say oh well it doesn't have a cap but you are on a benefit so you deserve to have it capped.

All sorts of people end up on benefits, not just the few lazy bums that give everyone a bad name.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 23:07:16

panda - hope this doesn't sound patronising but a genuine well done. Hope all going well at college

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 23:09:17


Yes, call me cynical but they are not trying to means test the winter payments that pensioners get. Wouldn't have anything at all to do with the fact that older people are much more likely to vote? hmm

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 25-Oct-12 23:09:32

The first full years claw back of this will be in January 2015. That's 4 months before the general election. I will be interested to hear their smarmy patter to try and win round all these angry mothers (will probably make me puke though). They've lost my vote for sure. They are completely clueless.

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 23:10:11

shiny Thanks

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 23:12:39

Well we have to agree to disagree. I do think that benefits need capped as an incentive to go back to work.

I don't believe that having unlimited children is a right. It's a privilege. Most people who work don't have more children than they can reasonably afford as there are other inherent costs such as child are that the extra child benefit won't mitigate. Further, the child benefit they receive is more than outweighedvbybthe tax contribution they make b

Unfortunately, i think there is a section of society who receive benefits who don't factor in the affordability as they don't need to. Pretty much all costs are subsidised and the child benefit is a nice little top up which they aren't subsidising at all due to any tax contribution.

TheCrackFox Thu 25-Oct-12 23:13:14

I would imagine that in less than 10rs time Child Benefit will cease to excist as every year the threshold for earnings will be reduced by a couple of grand.

Headinbook Thu 25-Oct-12 23:14:28

Panda No, absolutely nothing at all to do with that. Ahem.

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 23:15:37

panda - y.y. Re the pensioners voting

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 25-Oct-12 23:17:42

I'm sure it will get swallowed up by universal credit in the next few years. That's definitely where they're going with this. This higher rate tax payer bodge is just a ploy so they can say "look, we've taken child benefit away from the wealthy", despite the fact that they're still giving it to families on up to £100k, but hey, who am I to be pedantic. They seem to believe their own lies and seem to be doing a good job of getting others to believe them too.

Regardless of how it affects me/us It is ill thought out, grossly unfair and plain stupid. sad angry A fine piece of Conservative work. No doubt hugely costly to manage to.

Let the riots begin.

It's ment to be for CHILDREN yet they give more to families with higher incomes than others. How can this be fair, just or a right way to distribute money?

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 23:20:19

shiny I see what you mean now but better to cap child care tax in that case as that's where the majority of larger families benefit. As far as I am aware, (I could be wrong) child tax is apx £50 per week per child for someone on income support. For 6 children that is £300 a week! Scandalous!

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 23:23:20

Sorry I mean child tax credits

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 25-Oct-12 23:25:28

HipHop, it isn't fair, I know it, you know, everyone knows. They know it too really. This cut is purely for political reasons, nothing more. They should be held to account when it all unravels, which it undoubtedly will. Many tax accountants have warned them it is going to be a disaster. They will push ahead though because they are twats.

TheCrackFox Thu 25-Oct-12 23:35:28

ON a separate note it isn't a massive insentive for someone on say £50k to go for a payrise. It could be wiped out by losing the child benefit.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 25-Oct-12 23:38:29

Yes CrackFox and also remember, you'd have to earn nearly twice that as well, as you'd pay the extra in tax and NI. DH would have to earn nearly £5k a year extra to make up for the loss of CB for 3 DC.

duchesse Thu 25-Oct-12 23:40:16

Yes indeed Crackfox. If you have 3 children, or £188/month net CB or £2,256/year, you'd have to think very hard how much of a pay rise you'd need to offset the loss of the CB.

These are the calculations that my full-time working single mother sister has had to make re tax credits and pay rises. Ex bastard contributes nothing towards their children's upkeep aside from taking them to McD every once in a while. She realised at one point that it wasn't worth her while going for a particular promotion as it would leave her worse off despite the pay rise.

PandaSpaniel Thu 25-Oct-12 23:54:59

crackFox and duchesse The benefit system is a complete mess from top to bottom. As a working single mum I was only £30 a week better off in part time work than being sat on my bum and for every £1 I earned over a certain amount I paid extra for council tax and lost housing benefit meaning I only earned 20 pence of each pound in effect. So if I worked full time I would have 16 hours at just 20p in each pound so around £1.50 per hour x 16 hours so another £24 for working full time as opposed to half time.

It's stupid and gives people no incentive to work! I chose to work because I want to set a good example to my son and feel that the money I earned was mine IYSWIM. I am all for people 'working' to 'earn' their benefits but the way the Government are doing this is very very wrong.

The whole system needs sorting out but I fear this Government is going about it all wrong.

LancsDad Thu 25-Oct-12 23:59:39

We'll lose all our CB even though I'm currently a SAHD and am not earning.

I agree with the principle but just think it's being implemented in a really cack-handed way.

Either everyone should get it or no one should get it. But not this stupid mess where all that going to happen is it's going to go wrong.....

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 00:07:37

I'm sure this policy will come back and bite them on the arse in the not too distant future. It will certainly be a major contributory factor in bringing them down in 2015 for sure. Can't wait!!

scottishmummy Fri 26-Oct-12 00:09:11

tosh,it's not all have or none have at all
it should go to those who need it most.the v prosperous like cb but don't need it
whereas for others it's v important

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 00:12:49

Therefore, you'd agree scottishmummy that families on joint incomes of up to £100k don't need it either.

Declutterbug Fri 26-Oct-12 00:13:52

I agree that households that have an income of £60k plus should face cuts to their income, just as everyone else should. £60k is hardly on the poverty line.

However, even aside from the £99k dual earner issue, I do not see why families are targetted by the removal of CB instead of taking money from households with one childless earner, or a childless couple, or a retired couple. What cuts to their income are people in those brackets who earn £60k+ facing?

The fair thing to do would be to put up income tax for those with incomes over a certain level. Yet haven't the Govt just cut the top rate of income tax? angry

Like I said on page one, I can't argue a family with an income of at least £60k shouldn't face some austerity. It's the fact that this is unfair that pisses me off.

never voting Lib dem ever again

scottishmummy Fri 26-Oct-12 00:15:34

if you're on £100k you don't need cb
on that wage you like getting cb,but it's not essential it's a nice wee extra

Zombieminx Fri 26-Oct-12 00:19:17

YY EdithWeston "It is omnishambes par excellence. A disastrously conceived measure, beyond anyone's manifesto commitments, administratively impossible, and unlikely to save much money, as claw back will be expensive and require continuous attention." Exactly this, beautifully put!

The reasons why this is a stupid policy idea have been spelled out upthread. The minister would do well to read, reflect and then U-turn!

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 00:19:27

I agree scottishmummy, so why do this government seem to think that families on joint incomes of up to £100k are more deserving of child benefit than families on nearly half that. I just don't get it. It is mean, spiteful and divisive.

scottishmummy Fri 26-Oct-12 00:21:45

I completely agree govt all over the shop
coalition make odd uncomfortable bed fellows
soon they will have to orchestrate split to oppositonally fight election

NonnoMum Fri 26-Oct-12 00:25:10

Should be opt-out.

Tick this box if you feel the need to NOT claim this benefit from the government.

Job done. No expense.

And capped at four children, like The Queen, Tony Blair and David Cameron.

avenueone Fri 26-Oct-12 01:05:29

I'm a single parent about to loose the benefit and apart from the fact it is the only support I get for my child (Ex pays nothing) other than via me - I should loose it. I don't need it. (I am just over the threshold).
`Benefits' are for those in need and as great as it is to get free money every month, in reality I don't need it and when I first started getting it, it felt strange and wrong. To me it is the same way with pensioners with a certain amount of income not getting £250 a year for fuel - give it to people who really need it.
And it is NOT about mothers - when you have a child it is via `parents' (remember I am a lone parent too) and it is `child' benefit not mothers benefit, it is about the money available to benefit the child.
If you choose to have three children, live in an expensive part of the world and think yourself responsible you should not then rely on`welfare' to bring them up.
The fairness issue of how it is worked out is difficult and there are those as with everything that end up worse off... i.e. me as if two joint incomes made up mine split `we' would not lose it - but as I started at the start, I don't need it -when you earn the amount set - you don't.

avenueone Fri 26-Oct-12 01:07:25

ihategeorgeosborne It will certainly be a major contributory factor in bringing them down in 2015 for sure. Can't wait!! and then what will happen?

avenueone Fri 26-Oct-12 01:15:14

and just one more thing - don't you think it is hypocritical to complain about the policy but yet not complain about the person/people on here with a household income of at least £60k complaining at loosing the money that could go to those under the threshold who need it more in tax credits/benefits? would those on sat £45k swap with the £60k household?
So the threshold is too high? how high should it be? if in a couple of years they say - ok we got it wrong - lets up it... to £100K they are then accused of just helping the rich?
£60k household income is not rich - no one said it is, the government just thinks that if you earn that you do not need `welfare'.

3bunnies Fri 26-Oct-12 01:25:12

I think for me the major problem is the inequality, and I'm not just talking about the family with a joint income of 99k. Imagine two neighbours, couple 1 one parent works full time, earns 61k, other parent looks after 3 children. When CB is taken away they will take home circa 42,160. Couple 2 jobshare equally (and I do know a couple who do this - though have no idea what their income is), their combined salary again is 61k, but this time split equally, so they use all their tax allowance and retain CB, both earn 31.5k (sorry no pound sign on phone); their net income is circa 50400. They have no additional childcare costs because they look after their own children. (for this calculation I have ignored pensions, but if they were to contribute then both would have a decent pension)

The couple who can split their earnings have over 8000 pounds more than the single earner. This isn't fair.

We are on the borders of the 50k limit (though due to NHS rebanding might fall a fair bit lower, but that's another thread). I am looking to increase my modest income, as I only work about 4hrs a week, but my hourly rate is good. We would be better off if dh worked one day a week less and I worked then instead. Of course waiting lists would increase, and there would be no incentive to progress, but 8k can seriously improve your lifestyle!

3bunnies Fri 26-Oct-12 01:30:56

I should say we are in SE, we will still feed and clothe our children, but I would feel happier about it if the couple on a joint income also lost the same amount of money.

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Oct-12 01:40:10

I think they should do away with child benefit and give a deduction for each child and allow childcare costs to be paid from gross wages, not net.

This would help working families and enable those not working to afford taking a job. I had friends from school who had their children before they married and lived in separate addresses to their now husbands. This was so they could afford to continue working. If they didn't do this it would have cost them more than they made to go to work. It is madness that people are doing this. The government (taxpayers) paid housing benefits, childcare costs, credits and child benefit. Once the youngest was in school they got married and moved in together. I don't blame them, I blame the system.

The whole benefits system needs to be overhauled and this is just a piecemeal token change that is going to cost more to administer than monies paid out.

For those who think GBP100K is plenty to live off... It is in the North of the country but it doesn't go very far in London. As posted on here, two children in nursery costs GBP3600 a month. A single parent on GBP100K a year is bringing home about GBP60K at most after taxes. After childcare costs they are left with GBP16,800 to live off. That is equivalent of a single person earning GBP22-24K a year in London which is not a lot. This is why childcare should be paid from gross income and all parents should get a deduction for each child in their care. This would result in taxable income being GBP56,800 instead of GBP100K and tax home would therefore be around GBP34K instead of GBP16.8K. This is before any deduction for having a child under your care. I think it would be the most equitable way to tax families.

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 01:40:27

This is a very good Telegraph commentary - link

LancsDad Fri 26-Oct-12 03:35:51

The comparison between a family with one earner earning 99k and a family with 2 each earning 49.5 is much greater than the child benefit that will be lost.

The family with 2 earners will be a lot better off because:

They get to use their full personal allowances x 2 - £8105 extra tax free income.

The amount taxed at the basic rate of 20% is a lot more : 2 x 34370 = 68740 vs 34370

The amount taxed at the higher rate of 40% is a lot less : 2 x 7025 = 14050 vs 56525

The net effect of these is that the family with 2 earners monthly take home pay before pensions etc would be c£5,900 whereas the single earner would take home c£5,300.

So both families have the same Gross income but the family with £600 less net income is the one that loses it's CB.

Doesn't make any sense.

LancsDad Fri 26-Oct-12 03:37:06

the net effect figures are per month

BoffinMum Fri 26-Oct-12 06:33:16

Children are a luxury lifestyle accessory, like lap dogs, and the tax payer should not be expected to support all those fancy designer clothes, upmarket yoghurts and fancy breakfast cereals that parents buy for them.

You should have known when having your children that the global financial situation might change, so if you are going to be hard up, suck it up and retro fit your family size accordingly. That is what adoption and children's homes are for.

Meanwhile we have free TV licences, free bus passes, age related tax allowances and outsourced private providers to fund, so parents should bugger off and stop grumbling.


I haven't read all the pages, but I agree with the comments on page one. Single earners on £50k are already paying a lot of tax and the changes are unfair on single parents and SAHMs. Fairer for all would be child benefit for two children for everyone and nothing after that. For now I am lucky that the threshold was raised from £44k, which DH is on, to £50k as I am a SAHM, but it would not surprise me if it gets lowered in the future. BurntToast I agree and Mum2Luke that's why I don't work - no family/help with childcare and would be out of pocket if I worked.

As others have said, it does take the piss that dual income get to keep theirs.

Headinbook Fri 26-Oct-12 07:43:16

(Sorry, don't think I posted link properly above)

Shagmundfreud Fri 26-Oct-12 08:05:43

We are one of the families who will lose our CB. We live in London and have a combined income of 75k. I earn 10k of this.

I am worried as to how I will manage as CB is the only guaranteed income I have (I am self employed in my part time work) that I am fully in control of. I find it very humiliating to have to go to my husband for money, even though he is a kind and respectful person. I buy all my clothes from charity shops, only get my hair cut twice a year and have no money for training or further education, which I need to get back into the workplace full-time. I have three children, one with special needs and I use the CB to support their education.

I really wish my DH would go part time so I could work more - very hard to organise family life if one of you is out 8 til 7 every day and the other person is also working. Then we would not lose our CB, we would have the same household income and I would have more respect for myself. I find my lack of economic muscle within the family depressing and disempowering.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 08:22:59


It will certainly be a major contributory factor in bringing them down in 2015 for sure. Can't wait!! and then what will happen?

The most likely outcome is that labour will get back in. I am no labour voter myself, but this policy is just so bloody unfair in every way. If a government cannot implement a fair policy then they should expect to get a kicking at the polls.

Mandy21 Fri 26-Oct-12 08:35:06

lancsdad I think you're missing the point by setting out those comparisons of 2 people each earning £49k or one person earning £99k.

The whole point of the CHILD benefit is that its only paid if you have children - which you have completely ignored in your analysis. If the 2 parents are both at work earning £49k, they WILL have childcare costs.

If as you set out, the difference between 2 x £49k incomes, and 1 x £99k income is around £600 per month net, that wouldn't cover full time childcare for even one child, never mind more than one child.

So 2 earners with children & child care costs lose out. A household with 1 x £99k earner where the other parent is a SAHM IS better off than a household with 2 x £49k earners with children

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 08:35:24

But why don't you Shamund go out there and earn £65k like you husband rather than £10k? There are far too many women on pin money being kept by Mr Big Bucks. Why is it that way round? It's awfully sexist.

weegiemum Fri 26-Oct-12 08:45:28

We're going to lose our CB, dh is a GP on £100k so I don't have an issue with it.
But I do have an issue with losing my HRP pension credits. I work in the voluntary sector teaching young mums basic skills and we have chosen that I do this on an unpaid basis because we don't need my income (and I'm disabled so a job is much harder for me to find). I want to get my state pension when I retire. So I'll not stop claiming and they can claw it back from dh's tax next year.
I'm not worried about the loss of income - we have more than enough and all our cash is in a joint account - his salary and my DLA. There's no issue about 'his' or 'my' money. But I'm contributing (in a big way, 3 days a week) to Call-Me-Dave's "big society" and the response is to rob me of my state pension. Thanks, Dave!

Mandy21 Fri 26-Oct-12 08:58:56

morethanpotatoprints - I'm a bit annoyed about about your post to panda above where you say its how people choose to live and that "Somebody earning 15k but spending 13k on childcare can believe they only earn 2k" - thats not what I said in my post.

I completely agree that I earn all of my salary, of course I do, the point I was trying to make as I've said above in answer to LancsDad's post is the strict comparison that everyone is making against 1 x £99k or 2 x £49k earners over simplifies the issue. Of course, if it was just a straight comparison, if both households had roughly the same expenses then treating those 2 households differently wouldn't be fair.

BUT those households CANNOT be the same (and I'm not including single parents in this as I accept single parent families are well and truly out of pocket here) because it is a benefit which is ONLY PAID IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN. So it goes without saying that if both parents work, they will have childcare costs, which as everyone agrees are astronomical in the UK.

I wasn't suggesting that I only earn my salary, less child care costs, I was merely making the point that making a sweeping generalisation that a household with 2 x £30k earners is the same as a 1 x £60k earner is not correct.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Fri 26-Oct-12 09:17:34

Weegimum - we will also continue to claim. I think this is a unfair policy and the more it costs the Tories to implement it the happier I shall be. Yes that's right - the government has reduced me to being that petty. How statesmanlike of them.

3bunnies Fri 26-Oct-12 09:19:22

Mandy21 most of the people I know who go out to work with more than one child can only afford it because they eiither only work term time, not everyone can do that, or the grandparents look after the children. As all our parents are 80+ this is not possile for us. Besides an easy solution to your arguement is to assess income after childcare vouchers have been claimed, or childcare costs off set. If that was done then it would be unlikely that the remaining difference was more than 8000pa which as I said in my previous post is the difference between one person on 61000 and two people on 31500.

mam29 Fri 26-Oct-12 09:40:07

I feel lucky we missed it as hubby not on 50k hes on 41k and thourght when announced was 42k.

Hubbys retail manager so orks some evenings/weekends/bank hols.

we have 3kids age 6, 3 and 19months.

we lost £40 a month tax credits in april.

we live southwest rent privatly going rent round here for 3bed is£700+. we not eligible for affordbale housing or housing benefit.
we cant afford to buy a house.
no free school dinners ,£130 a month council tax. no free prescriptions despite being close to border and everyone getting free prescriptions in wales.

I am currently a sahm as childcare costs are so high.

I did go back fulltime after my 1st but job was not child freindly was salary 20k a year gross £1200 i think net of which 800+went staight on nursery bills, then commuting hardly seeing child or hubby as did alternate shifts. I used to work in deprived areas where saw peeople gettng every benefit under the sun , wasting money, whinging used to make me slightly narked.

This year went to uni open day to look into retraining as social worker as when kids all in school i need to be earning decent salary to pay childcare costs to make it worth while.

but 9grand a year tuition fees mean cant go back uni and retrain.

childcare costs even in school as know someone with 4kids well 3 at primary and is a teacher.

breckfast club-£2.50
afterschool club £7-thats only until 5.30
say £10 per child £30 a day =£150 a week.

parents who use holiday club outside provider which covers only small amount of holidays ie 2/6week summer holiday is £65 per week per child.

I know a few kids in senior and more siblings in yera 6 bus moneys £60 per month per child.

School dinners is £40 month per child-we dont as too costly but 3kids at school-common number round her £120 a month.

middle dd just started preschool in sept shes sept born so just missecd school year dont get grant until term after jan but preschool wouldent hold place so paying £450 for sept-jan.
she already does private day nursery from 18months £40 a day some may describe this as luxury but fater having eldest in nursery due to working i can see how earky years education can benefit a child and their devlopment since dd started preschool shes scored higher than her age. shes got freinds too as i have no family with kids nearby or freinds with kids same age.

eldest does rainbows from age 5 which is luckily cheap, gym and cheerleading not so much but she enjoys it and think good for kids to have hibbies especially when her state school had no extra curricular.

uniform-huge cost as head wouldent allow no n official cardigans £10 which parents constantly complaining are lost mine lost hers 3times last year £30 labeled with name looked in lost property nothing.

Another freind has to buy new uniform as her schools converted to an academy.
Senior parents say the secondry uniform costs are huge.

There are so many costs with families and think the changes penalise families where 1parent works.

Its uk kids i feel sorry for we such an expensive country feel family life is rubbish as people working alternate shifts, long hours. when i worked fulltime i missed a lot of my eldest as a toddler.

Even when they older they still time consuming

school runs


just general parenting
we havent ever been abroad with kids as its £300 just for new passports.

we dont use private schools.
we rarly go out.
we shop at lidls.

my local fb selling group very affluent area is very busy I can see how squeezed middle is affected as see it every day. It feels worse now than during. the crunch

Do the lower earners really need any more when they get loads other benefits.

be much better cap at 2kids

put more money into childcare.

consider outgoings as well as income as childcare so high and not very flexible

most nurserys dont open until 8am and shut at 6
shut banks holds and our old one whole week at xmas when we worked in retail!

Also the whole mum not having money worries me as know some with some very tigh controlling dhs.

The winter fuel for wealthy pensioners who live in spain winds me up.

yes there are some poor pensioners just not near me.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 09:50:19

mam29, We are in similar situation to you. Live in rented in SW as can't afford to buy. Similar aged children and similar out goings. DH works away a lot so it would be very difficult for me to work at the moment. Our youngest is 18 months. I too went back to work when my oldest was a baby, but child care, running two cars, etc made it not financially viable.

DH is between 50 and 60k so we will lose most of our CB for 3DC and yes, I will miss it. This income does not make you 'rich' whatever anyone says. Also, it makes me feel like SAHP are insignificant in the eyes of government. I thought the conservatives were pro traditional families with a SAHP. David Cameron went into the election promising tax breaks for married couples and ending shafting them more than they could ever have imagined.

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 09:56:31

The more I read of this, the more I woukd really like to see if a web chat could be organised with someone to explain the position based on my earlier post above. I've reported that to mumsnet but no response yet. Will keep trying.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 10:07:54

The outgoings of a dual income family will usually be higher than a single income family bringing in the same amount.

BUT that isn't the point. Child benefit, as a universal benefit, is easy and cost efficient to administer. The changed system is not.

It is typical ideologically driven policy at its worst.

That was a good post Mam. I feel as though I have to justify why I don't work, but my old job only paid £20k, which for the area we live in is as good as it gets. I do not have professional qualifications so cannot become the breadwinner and if I work then it is not worth it for the reasons Mam listed. ShinyBlackGrape, that was an interesting article too.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Fri 26-Oct-12 10:13:46

We will lose some of our CB because DH earns over £50,000. My earnings (around £20,000) make no difference to that. We have three dcs but all are at school now and we only have childcare costs after school and in holidays for our youngest. My friend has 4 dc, one of whom is still under school age so if she chose to work she would have a big bill for that and for holiday etc care for at least two other dcs. They will lose ALL of their CB because of her husband's earnings. I have another friend with two dcs under school age and big childcare costs. They will also lose all their CB. This policy is so unfair it drives me crazy.

Shagmundfreud Fri 26-Oct-12 10:14:28

"But why don't you Shamund go out there and earn £65k like you husband rather than £10k? There are far too many women on pin money being kept by Mr Big Bucks. Why is it that way round? It's awfully sexist."

Because I'm 46 Xenia, and my last permanent salaried post was working as a teacher in FE, where the majority of teachers doing the type of job that I was now earn about 28K a year. (salaries have hardly gone up since I started in the sector in 1995).

What jobs pay 65K a year to new entrants to the profession with no experience?

My husband is an IT manager with 20 years experience under his belt.

3bunnies Fri 26-Oct-12 10:15:50

One way of offsetting the cost is by reducing the taxable income below 5/60000; this can be done by increasing pension contributions and/or claming 55 pounds a week childcare vouchers, if both were above the level then both could trim their salaries!

I think I am lucky, dh is probably close enough to bring his taxable salary below 50k, my youngest is soon going to get free nursery place (for as long as that benefit continues); my employer is v childcare friendly, and if I am able to increase my hours it can largely be done at a time to suit me, from home during term time.

mam29 and ihategeorgeosborne I was in your positions a few years ago and I know how tough it can be, some places are very expensive, and it's not as easy as saying that you can just move, as then there may not be the work available. In expensive areas there will be a catch 22 with childcare costs too expensive, but one salary not enough. It will get easier for you both though when you can work once the dc are in school.

Abbicob Fri 26-Oct-12 10:18:09

Weegimum - they have changed it now so that you will still get your HRP credits.

ImNotCute Fri 26-Oct-12 10:21:02

Like others here we're likely to lose some of our child benefit. We will manage (fortunately we live in a cheaper part of the country), but I'm still v annoyed by the way this is being implemented. I can't imagine it being anything other than a complex shambles that costs more to administer than it saves.

I've just written to my mp about it and would encourage others to do the same. The Tories have already been forced to do a u-turn on other policies they've tried to bring in.


Have posted on other threads about this but delighted it's being kept in the spotlight as it is a ridiculous proposal and totally unjust.

Without disclosing too much information about our personal circumstances, we will lose our CB in January. Our total household income is nowhere near £100k but one salary will tip us over the limit. I agree it is completely unfair that under the new rules proposed, a family can each earn £49,999 each and still claim 100% of their CB yet if one parent earns over £60, you lose it altogether. There is no thought for SAHM in this that have sacrificed careers to bring up children nor of the squeezed middle classes that pay extortionate childcare costs in order to work to pay our fucking taxes.

I am just so bloody incensed by the arrogant and ill thought out way that this policy has been conceived.

I have actually written to Cameron and Osbourne on many occasions since the April budget asking them to have the decency to rethink this policy and to ensure that its application is at least fair. They couldn't give the first fuck about this and the responses I have had from their communications team say as much

The last letter I got from the Treasury's office was just so nonsensical - I have passed it to friends to try and decipher and they all agree, it is 2 pages of utter bollocks that makes no sense whatsoever. One of the paragraphs in response to a question I had asked about single income familiies and the CB changes stated that if you were on a single income over £60k, you would be wealthier as a family than a two income family each earning £50k. Go figure.

What is all the more galling about this is that now the discrepancies are being pointed out to them, they are so arrogant that they refuse to change them and make for a fairer system.

I have no problems with our CB being taken away but why then should another family earn £50k each (so more than us) and they end up getting 100% of their CB - it makes no sense whatsoever.

This Government and the key figures within it are immoral. They have no care or concern for the hard working families that make up this country and it plainly shows through their policies and actions. Look at Osbourne and the arrogance shown in the 1st class rail carriage last week. Look at the outrage shown for Jimmy Carr et al by our own Prime Minister for making the most of a Jersey tax haven - the same Prime Minister who used the legal loopholes available to avoid paying inheritance tax on his late father's estate.

It's one rule for them, another for the little people. If they truly wanted to reduce the deficit, stop consistently hitting the hard working families of this country and start getting the really higher tax earners to delve a little deeper in their pockets, stop the Philip Greens of the world manipulating the system to not pay taxes in the UK and implement measures where the Starbucks, Vodaphone et al of the world pay some fucking taxes in the country in which they are operating.

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 10:40:15

smelly - totally agree. It is the complete arbitrary unfairness of this that really pisses me off. I'd actually have more respect for the government if, rather than desperately trying to justify the unjustifiable, they just said look, we know it's unfair but we don't actually give a fuck.

I don't suppose you could put the letter you received on your profile page. I would be very interested to read it. Understand if not.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 10:41:52

They're doing a lovely job of pitting SAHPs against WOHPs, aren't they?

I haven't got a scanner shiny - I'll see if I can dig out the letter and if I still have it, I'll re-type it out and PM it to you.

Mandy21 Fri 26-Oct-12 10:46:29

3bunnies I agree, its completely unfair, but there are a number of generalisations that make me annoyed. I don't doubt your experience, but my experience is different. Most of my mum friends work - some because they want to, some because they have to. Most (if not all) do not have term time only jobs and don't have relatives that can help out with childcare.

My parents and my in-laws all live abroad and I work throughout the year (term time and holidays). We have 2 children of school age but can't afford holiday clubs so we try to juggle the holidays by working from home, my husband and I working stupid hours (I'll get to work at 6am and be home for 2pm (then work when the children are in bed), he'll go to work when I get back at 2pm and come home at midnight) or he'll have a day off in the week and then work all weekend to make up the time. We haven't had a proper family holiday for years because we can't afford for us both to take annual leave at the same time.

Yes, life would be a million times easier logistically if I was a SAHM, or had grandparents on tap, or only worked term time, but thats not reality. The generalisation that 2 parents only work if the mothers job is term time only or she has help is just wrong (IMO).

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 10:49:00

Fab smelly. Many thanks or could you just take a photo of each page and send it? Might be easier? yiu could cut your name and address off the top.

I'm going to write to my mp and I'd really like to reference in your response (no names, I promise!) just to put them on notice not to send another nonsensical reply courtesy of the exchequer

TessOfTheBurbervilles Fri 26-Oct-12 10:49:45

I would have no problem with it, IF the system was fair, i.e. that those families where the combined income is over £50k have their CB reduced (or stopped all together if it's over £60k).

It is outrageous that a single income family (whether that be where only one parent works or a single parent household) will lose out, but a dual income family where (lets say for example) both parents earn £49k will still get CB. No-one needs me to tell them, a family with a combined income of £98k is far better off then a family with a single income of £50k.

Utter madness.

maebyfunke Fri 26-Oct-12 10:50:23

We are going to lose half of our CB.

We have three children I am a SAHM and do rely on the money it brings us, it's used for basics such as food.

I feel very bitter that we are going to lose money yet dual income families who can earn almost double between them won't. It's the unfairness that makes the cuts hard to deal with.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 10:51:41

What's the betting that the thresholds won't change?

Before too long, £60k will not be a decent salary and child benefit will only be payable to the poor.

Even if we get a change of government next election, it will be quite difficult for them to reinstate this as a universal benefit.

t875 Fri 26-Oct-12 10:51:45

Yeah were gonna be pretty screwed here!! Were struggling as it is! sad

Asinine Fri 26-Oct-12 10:53:41


Would love to read that letter, too.

I just want them to admit it's illogical and unfair. It's as though they think we're all too daft to realise what's going on. If we all wrote letters/tweets/emails like smelly and shiny it would have some impact. I'm emaiing radio4 news about it, it only takes a few minutes.

Totally agree about getting tax out of the multisquillion pound businesses, also people should boycott all those shops if they think their ethics stink.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 10:55:41

wrt single/dual income families, the outgoings of a dual income family are generally higher than that of a single income one. Probably not £49k higher, to be fair, but it still isn't so clear cut.

BUT child benefit should remain a universal one. The moment you start messing with that, you get anomolies such as the family on 2 * 49k qualifying and those on £50k not.

Asinine Fri 26-Oct-12 10:58:05

Hopefully the government also have a 'pleb' employed to read these threads to pass on what the littlefolk think.

tilder Fri 26-Oct-12 11:05:23

I'm sorry but I really don't understand why this us considered to be more unfair to sahm than to mums who work.

maebyfunke Fri 26-Oct-12 11:12:04

tilder for some SAHM , hopefully not many, CB is the only money that they feel is their own.

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 11:12:42

If it ensures that there are many fewer housewives it is a very good change. If a woman marries a rich - ish man (over these limits) and does not earn her own money I don't see why she should winge about the change.

However as I said above removing universal benefits means richer people as I am then do not feel bought into the system so the compact between us and the state disappears. If you feel you get nothing back for supporting so many benefits claimants from your taxes, those of us who pay heaps of tax, then you feel less amenable to the state.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 11:12:56

I don't think it's as unfair as soe are making out tilder - but it is an anomaly that a single earner family with a household income of 60k will get nothing, whereas a dual earner family with a considerable higher income will continue to qualify.

Right, am a speedy typer so here is the letter in full. I won't print the name of the person who sent it as they may have an issue with the same being reproduced here but suffice to say, it is from a member of the Correspondence Team of HM Treasury in response to one of my letters to George Osbourne. Re-reading it now, it is not as anger inducing as it was on first receipt - albeit, I have written many letters and every time fail to get sufficient answers on why they are not addressing this discrepancy.

Anyway, letter in full below.

Dear >>, Thank you for your further letter dated 13 August about Child Benefit. As it is not practical for Ministers to respond to all the letters they receive, I have been asked to reply on their behalf.

CB will continue to be paid to all families who claim it and who are entitled to it. From January 2013 a tax charge will be used to withdraw CB so that people on lower incomes do not continue to subsidise those who are better off. The tax charge will only apply to people on an income over £50,000, who claim CB or whose partner claims CB. This charge will increase gradually for taxpayers with an income between £50k – 60k.

You have asked about the affect of the new CB tax charge on single income families. It is important to note that average incomes are actually higher in single income households with one person earning over £50k than in households with two incomes and a joint income over £50k. The average income for those affected by the charge is £88,000. This compares to £60,000 for families with a joint income over £50,000.

As well as this, looking at total household income would mean finding out the incomes of everyone in each of the 8 million households getting CB. This would effectively introduce a new means test. The Government’s approach will withdraw CB from those on high incomes whilst leaving the majority of claimants unaffected. 85% of families will be completely unaffected by the changes. Those families with at least one taxpayer with an income over £60,000 can choose not to receive the CB which means that they do not have to pay the tax charge at all.

The Government realise that the cost of childcare is one of the most important considerations for working parents. Government spending in this area is high, we support low income families with up to 70% of childcare costs through the Working Tax Credit as well as providing 15hours a week of free early learning for all 3 and 4 yr old and all disadvantaged 2 yr olds. In addition to this Employer Supported Childcare is a Government initiative that allows participating employers to offer their staff childcare vouchers exempt from income tax and disregarded for National Insurance Contributions. The aim of this support is primarily to encourage employers to engage with the issue of childcare, but it also helps to make childcare more affordable for working parents

The support the Government provides is focused on low income families but childcare vouchers and free early learning are available to help parents regardless of income. Unfortunately, increasing the childcare voucher cap would result in a shortfall of revenue and mean either further reductions in spending or raising revenue elsewhere, for example through increasing overall tax limits to account for the loss. In a world with limited resources, the Government has to prioritise support for childcare costs on those who need it the most, but policy in this area remains under review.

Yours sincerely....

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 11:15:03

I agree wholeheartedly with most of that post, Xenia. But I do see why SAHPs are unhappy.

tilder Fri 26-Oct-12 11:15:29

Ok. So its based on the idea that a sahm may not get money directly from her partner an therefore cb is her independent income?

mam29 Fri 26-Oct-12 11:15:40

Thanks guys seeing my point of veiw.

when i tell family freinds that hubbys on 41k gross they think we minted but we not.

we dident buy house at right time.

now banks want 20-30%deposit.

a few years back when eldest was tiny went to barclays at time both working had combined income of £52k and got offered £125,000 not enough to buy flat where we are.

We looked into gettng on housing list stood no chance.
so we stuck i private rental with costs going up every year.

Since giving up job retail managemnet which is hard as not allowed holiday xmas and easter. 50hours a week area manager ringing all time and if childs sick getting huge lecture on how my stores more important,.

But do kind of feel like lesser person not working.
I would love to work but dont have any reliable affordble childcare and last few years sepnt looking after family allowing hubby to get promotions.

But I have been on school pta last 2years.
im on middle dd preschool committee
ocassionally help out rainbows.

peer supporter for breastfeeding running voluntry support groups at clinic . had to do 6week course with midwife.

So i guess im community minded and part of desired big soceity.

Also to me theres big difference in being a kept woman.

theres the ladies who go out for lunch, never worry about their grocery bill and reguarly go salon or shopping.

im a kept woman in sense

hubby pays rent, bills and majority of food.
i dont get pocket/pin money to spend on myself.

we both feel guilty buying ourselves stuff.
the kids always needs new things school shoes are 30-40quid a pair!

I dont like way sahm are demonised as lazy , choosing not to work and sponging off the state.

Apart from child benefit thats all we get-no other benefits.
we chose to have 3kids all 3planned and we supporting them.

or child tax credit stopped in april £40 a month which have missed,
did think could make up 40 by selling but ebay fees so high and really hard to sell things these days.

I tend to sell stuff which enables me to but new stuff.
started xmas shopping mostly sales /2nd hand to spread the cost with 3kids-it wont be an extragent xmas.

I do know people at lower income scale either unemployed or low income jobs tax credits and they never sort of worry can they afford another child as attitude is well we get extra cb and tax credits to make up shortfall, ohh could get bigger house.

I have in past looked at part time jobs even 4hour shop jobs who say must be fully flexible and unless you work in school job term time its very tricky as they have so many holidays.

Im looking for something to bring in extra money over xmas.
Its hard as copetative market.

Because I was senor manager and have degree i must seem overqualified. Really nights would be perfect but then wouldent see hubby much and be very tired in the day time.

middle dd starts school sept 2014 and youngest 2015 as have 20month gap.

want to start youngest in some kind childcare for his development. also treat all 3equally so they have chance to do clubs ect.

We could be much worse off so dont moan too much.

we live in nice area house bit small but we have nice garden and park nearby.

we budget very carefully but hard when energy and foods rises so quick.

kids never go without even if it is 2nd hand.

we manage around 4 paid days out a year the rest of time try do free stuff and cheap hols in uk as for me its about building happy memories.

I think many working families not looking for handouts.
but recognition that we bringing up workers of the future in aging population that our kids will still be paying pfi bills when they adults, the fact they may not afford to go university, they may not eb able to find well paid jobs and be living at home until they 30s, and never afford to buy a house pretty rubbish. we just need a break/breather in times of low pay rises, high inflation , low interest rates savings, low job security and rising food utilities its perfect storm theres no safety net it will be the middleclass kids that suffer.

Here they cant provide enough or decent state schools so some parents have strain of school fees too.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 11:19:20

tilder, when CB was introduced that was a big reason for it being paid directly to the mother. I'd hope there is less of a need for that today (although reading the Relationships topic I'm not so sure that's the case).

It was paid directly to the mother as that was seen as the most likely way that children would actually benefit from the money.

LilyBolero Fri 26-Oct-12 11:22:56

If you are a single parent, you have all the child care costs AND only the one salary. They are the worst hit imo.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 11:23:47

I was dissatisfied with the response I got from my Tory MP when I wrote to them. I decided to meet him in one of his surgeries. It was almost painful watching him try to justify the cuts. DH said that it was pretty obvious that he didn't agree with it either. He couldn't obviously tell us that of course.

I really hope someone from government is reading this thread. If not, they should be.

3bunnies Fri 26-Oct-12 11:25:43

Mandy21 my experience could be different being in the SE, I don't know where you are, and having younger children, certainly for me when I was on 30000, child care costs and travel would mean with 2 children in full time nursery I would take home 2 pounds a day, as long as I went to work naked and didn't eat any lunch/ contribute to leaving presents etc. Neither my job or dh could be done outside of 9-5 (well I could work longer hours but would still need to be there 9-5 as well), so we couldn't juggle childcare. Happily now my employer is uber flexible so I can work whenever and wherever as long as the job is done. I like you will be up at midnight finishing my work and often work on weekends, but I am lucky that I can fit it in around dh and still earn a fair income, tax free! The only people I know who don't have grandparents / and both parents worked standard hours, had nannies and were earning silly money. That just seems to be the way the economics work where I live. It does change once the children are in school, and happily for us we are approaching that stage so the impact won't be as great.

I guess that is why I feel it is unfair that two people earning 30500 keep all of their benefits, or even earning 34000 and claiming 55 pounds a week childcare each can keep their benefit, but someone with a single income of 61000 loses it all, plus has no married tax allowance etc so is 8000 pounds worse off. If it were 1 or 2 thousand then maybe but 8000 is a lot, and a mother with three children at home is doing the same work (hopefully) as a childminder with 3 mindees. reminds self to get off mumsnet and check work e-mails

alemci Fri 26-Oct-12 11:27:20

I am grateful that mine are getting too old for me to get it rather than just starting out. It is really unfair, particularly as the Higher level of tax is pitched so low.

I think it will get whittled down like you say Jenai.

also I think if they can pay it to people's whose children live abroad, they can pay it to all the residential children here regardless of their parent's income.

maebyfunke Fri 26-Oct-12 11:28:17

Tilder, I had a friend who was in that situation. Her husband and father of her three children was a higher rate tax payer who paid all bills and rent( they lived in a council house so rent about £80 a week). However she had to pay for school trips, kids clothes, furniture and baby equipment out of her CB - sometimes he would give her a little money twords these items if she was really struggling. Thankfully she is no longer with him.
I hope she was in the minority.

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 11:30:40

Indeed. I am old enough to remember child benefit coming in and in those days it was the first benefit paid direct to the mother for exactly those situations - where woman stupid enough to give up full time work and rely on male earnings (no woman ever should of course) and whose husband was not giving her any money.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 11:38:32

To be fair Xenia, it was much harder for middle class mothers to work then. We can't all be trailblazers.

These days it's far easier. I'm of the opinion that taking any more than a couple of years out of the workplace is nuts ill-advised.

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 11:49:51

Well is it no easier for men to work than women unless women are stupid enough to accept sexist sets up at home. Childcare costs are as much a male as a female issue. Surely every mumsnetter is not on peanuts whilst married to someone who earns 2 or 3 x what she does in 2012.

The interesting issue is separate taxation. In theory it matters not what your spouse earns as women are no longer owned by men and are separately tax. That was a massive victory for women in its day - i remember it well and we ar lucky it is the law. This new change interferes with that. It means that you need to know what your other half earns and the money yuou receive in CB depends on what your partner earns. That issue does not affect me as I am a single full time working mother of 5 who loses 100% of her child benefit and yes I can afford it although I have never felt I had enough to save it over the years and I do have nearly £1m of divorce debt from what I paid to their father on the divorce. However I can certainly afford not to have it. On the other hand it means I do feel like the only thing the state ever particularly gave me as recognition of the now 28 years of almost constant day after day child bringing up I have done is being removed. I have never even used state schooling. I have been to the GP once in the last 6 years (as I don't eat junk and am not fat).

coorong Fri 26-Oct-12 11:54:35

totally unfair - i've been a SAHM for pre school children because of certain circumstances, and now studying to return to work full time - but at a much reduced salary compared pre children. DH is just over 50k (JUST over), so we will certainly lose out.
David Cameron and his bunch of Tory cronies are such as bunch of tossers - they have NO idea. Crowing about the success of the economy while making cut backs - but look at us - we're all moving back into work into PART TIME jobs!

Equimum Fri 26-Oct-12 11:57:03

This really infuriates me. We're expecting our first child in December. My DH earns over the threshold, for which he works ridiculous hard, puts n long hours and endures considerable stress. On top of this, he has a two hour commute each way. He does this because it's important for him to provide as well as he can. I, meanwhile, am a funded PhD student, so earn relatively little. Our friends, meanwhile, who work shorter hours doing less stressful jobs that DH and who receive good holidays have a very similar combined income to us, but earn less individually than DH. Consequently, they'll get the full whammy and be supported to have their better lifestyle. Because of their position, they're also both entitled to lower rate nursery vouches so save a fortune on child care. I'm not eligible because I get a non-taxable bursary, and DH can only buy at the higher tax rate allowance.

Why should our friends be supported to cruise through life when we are being punished for working hard and missing out on other things as a result? Please don't think I resent my friends, it's the system I'm angry with.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 12:02:22

Xenia, The fact is that women are more likely to earn less than their husband for a number of reasons. In my case, when I left university, I was earning then in 1995 a reasonable graduate salary. Over the years, this did increase obviously. However, when my first child was born, I wanted to work part time as I wanted to spend time with my baby. That is surely not unreasonable for a new mother. I went back to work when dd was 6 months old. I worked three days a week. Child care was then (2004) £500 a week. My salary pro-rata was about £1000 after tax. By the time I'd paid the childcare, paid to run a second car, bought clothes for work, etc, a large chunk of my salary was wiped out. By the time dd2 came along, it would have actually cost me more than I was earning to go back to work. We made the choice at this point for me to be a stay at home mum. My husband is now earning more than I could, as I have been out of the work place for a few years now and technologies have changed. My skills are outdated. I would need to retrain. It's great if women can remain in high earning posts when their children are small, but it's often not the reality for a lot of us.

Mandy21 Fri 26-Oct-12 12:03:56

*3bunnies" sorry I seem to be getting on my soap box about this and I don't mean to be :-). The difference may be £8,000 a year between those 2 households you describe but the whole point of my contention is that if 2 parents are working, they have childcare costs, which will eat up more than that £8k difference you talk about - wherever you are in the country. So a straight comparison between 1 partner earning £60k (with effectively "free" childcare as the other partner is a SAHP) against 2 x partners earning £30k each (and paying £13k a year in our case) is not fair.

Childcare costs need to be taken into account in my view if you're assessing income as a household.

comelywenchlywoo Fri 26-Oct-12 12:06:24

Like most others I feel that this should be calculated by household rather than on an individuals income.

My DH works offshore, and as a result, his income is good but fluctuates wildly month to month depending on whether he's been at home or away. We never know how he will earn in a given year until it's over it might be 45k, 50k or if he's never home 60k. How will this work in practice. Will the government give us CB some months and not others dependent on that months earnings, or give it to us every month and then claim any overspend back from us. I do not know, but it sounds very complicated.

I feel a move away from the automated system may better identify who actually needs their child benefit. if you don't make an effort to collect/receive it you lose it and would have to reapply for it. That way those who would not really miss it would lose it, but those who rely on it despite comparatively high earnings would still receive it.

tilder Fri 26-Oct-12 12:09:24

I totally get why cb is paid to the mother and agree it should be. Particularly for those families where the man is controlling about money.

Just don't agree with making it a stay at home or go out to work issue. If they are to do this it should be based on household income not just one salary. Appreciate that would be harder an more expensive to do.

FWIW dh earns over the threshold an I work part time. Combined our salaries are still less than 2 people earning just under the threshold. After childcare, tax, ni, pension, professional fees etc cb is pretty much all I have left. I know that when all dc are at school I will have more left over but sometimes I do think life as a sahm would be much less stressful with little difference financially, but we all pay in some way for our choices and I am fortunate that it is a choice.

For me it is the unfairness of it that is the problem. But then who has ever called the benefit system fair?

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 12:09:55

Yes, but why is it always the women who earn so little? Women will never get anywhere as long as they are the ones sacrificing career on the altar of male careers. If they now get their come uppance for giving up careers through the CB changes that's brilliant. Why shouldn't they work? Also why is childcare a woman's cost? Surely you add together your joint earnings. We worked for a year when the cost of childcare was half of each salary.

The sacrifice was worth it as roll on 20 years more and the 5 children went ot brilliant private schools had two full time working parents presenting them with equal and nonsexist role models and home and it is surely no coincidence that my daughters earn what they do in London in their mid 20s because their role model at home was two full time working parents rather than women are cleaners and housewives and wipe bottoms whilst men earn the big bucks. In fact ultimately I earned 10x what their father did and they can graduate debt free etc. It virtually always pays women to work full time and build up careers. If you lose CB as a result of being ah ousewife may be the answer is not to be a housewife.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 12:10:04

£500 a week - Sorry that should be a month!!

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 12:11:07

Arf Xenia at your junk food comment grin

What I was getting at is that 40 years ago, it was more difficult for middle class mothers to work. Many workplaces were uncomfortable environments to be (as in, women weren't welcome), the precious moments bollocks was almost certainly even worse and society in general was far more disapproving than it is now of women maintaining some kind of independence. A middle class woman who chose not to work then was not necessarily stupid, she more likely simply didn't have the energy to be Shirley Conran.

I couldn't agree more re the significance of our incomes being treated differently for tax purposes. It worries me when women (especially) start calling for the reinstatement of the married man's allowance.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 12:11:57

being treated separately for tax purposes I should have said, not differently.

mam29 Fri 26-Oct-12 12:13:30

I think childcare costs are higher than most peoples mortgages or rent so ifs huge chunk on 20k a yar gross i paid £9600net nursery.

It will be interesting to see impact on economy.

As most people i know are not spending

lots buying 2nd hand ebay, carboots, nearly new.

Think retailers will really struggle.

argos just announced another 75 stores shutting.

I know retail may not seem important but most of uk jobs are servce sector/retail. Taking on women.

I kepe asking myself how are we going to save for futures of the kids at moment its impossible.

Hubby feels like he works hard puts lot money in but dont get much out.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 12:14:37

Xenia I wish you could have met my mum. There was some brouhaha a while back about women who'd never worked's pensions - my mother, who worked all her life, bringing me up as an unmarried mother at a time when that people pilloried her in the street for it (I remember it happening) was absolutely livid that they'd not taken their pension into consideration when they chose to be housewives!

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 12:16:07

yy Mam.

It's a lot of money the govt are taking out of circulation by doing this. Bloody idiots.

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 12:16:31

I know that. I remember the 1970s. I was working in the 80s. My mother though did work for from 1984 for a long period to support my father through medical school. Her own mother was a sole supporter too - as she was widowed within months of having the first baby. There are a lot of women in the UK who have always worked and supported families.

Anyway back to now - In general I am a low/flat taxer and would like all benefits, credits, allowances even for pensions abolished and a very very simple undistorted pure tax system in place where people take decisions based no what is right for them not whether they get 50% tax relief for the contribution or whatever. We don't have that that free market at all at present. We have one of the most complex tax and benefits systems ever created on this planet. That is such a huge waste of resources.

I would certainly support abolition of tax credits and housing benefit as well as child benefit in return for a simpler tax system and a lower flat tax rate.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 12:18:12

Xenia you and I are chalk and cheese, but I do enjoy your posts.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 12:20:26

oh and I'm an old Marxist, but I agree with an awful lot of what you say.

Mandy21 Fri 26-Oct-12 12:27:40

I don't think it should be a SAH/working issue either, but there has to be some recognition that if you're basing it on household income (which most MNetters seem to want) and both parents are working, they inevitably have higher child care costs than a household where one parent can stay at home.

If the household is 2 earners without any childcare costs, thats different (but they probably don't have children anyway and wouldn't be entitled to child benefit in the first place smile!!!)

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 26-Oct-12 12:32:56

Even without childcare costs, working people generally have higher outgoings.

Keep child benefit universal and be done with it.

TessOfTheBurbervilles Fri 26-Oct-12 12:38:44

Households with 2 earners, and the children are all school age, won't have huge childcare bills though surely?

Perhaps a few hours of care before and after school, if needed, but not the same as having a smaller child in a private nursery all day?

And what about households with 2 earners who have a family member looking after the child/children?

My friend and her DH have a combined income of £72k, but neither is over the £50k threshold, and his mum looks after their two children and they don't pay her for it!

And lets not forget, we're NOT just talking about families with a SAHP who get hit, we're also talking single parents. A single parent earning over £50k with childcare costs is losing out on CB money they most likely need to help them pay for those costs. Yet a family with 2 earners, can have a combined income of £90k (say £45k each), and they're still getting full CB.

There are so many different family situations to factor in and that's why the whole thing is unfair.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 12:44:30

The fact is, this cut was not bought in to save money at all. It was purely an ideological cut to make it look like the richest are shouldering the burden. It is not the top 15% of households losing this money as they keep trotting out, because a family of 5 on one income of 50k are in the 5th income decile. It is all so wrong on so many levels that I can't believe it received royal assent. If they wanted to tax the rich, why have they given the top 1% a 5% tax cut?

3bunnies Fri 26-Oct-12 12:49:41

ihategeorgeosborne what do tell is the 5th income decile and how can I use this to help explain to dh why he works hard yet I still buy cheap food?

Mandy21 Fri 26-Oct-12 12:55:25

tess we're in the NW albeit an expensive part of it, and yes, our childcare will drop when we don't have a pre-schooler at a private nursery. And yes, my income should go up so overall we'll be better off, but marginally.

Even for 2 children at breakfast club (£9 each, £18 a day) and after school (£12.50 each, £25 a day), you're talking about £215 a week, or £860 a month based on 4 x 5 day weeks. And then you have to pay for holiday clubs if you can't juggle work / don't have help. So it depends on what your interpretation of a "huge" bill is?! (I've also discounted the fact that I do in fact have 3 children so my wraparound care is even more expensive than those figures but appreciate that the general consensus is that a 3rd child is a "luxury" I chose to have and the taxpayer should not be footing the bill for her wink)

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 12:56:10

3bunnies, it's from the Institute for Fiscal Studies website. Sorry can't seem to make the link work, but if you type in "IFS - Where do you fit in?", you should find it. You need to enter NET household income not gross. I must admit, I was quite shocked when I did, particularly since the government keeps telling me we're in the top 15% of earners!!

3bunnies Fri 26-Oct-12 13:04:55

ihategeorgeosborne thanks (didn't actually need to write it again, but I enjoyed it), will go and google under the guise that it might help me if I get an interview for some extra work to make me less 'dependent' on dh. Of course he is dependent on me to provide free high quality childcare for his dc too!

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 13:10:53

The other thing that really annoys me about this, apart from the obvious unfairness, is the fact that DH will have to do a tax return which we don't currently have to do as he is PAYE. That will be a PITA for him TBH. I know I could stop claiming, but then there's all the issues around HP protection. I also know HMRC have said this will be covered, but I was listening to money box on radio 4 the other day and a tax specialist said you should keep on claiming anyway, as he was apparently a bit sceptical about how they would be keeping records of all this. Also, if you earn between 50 and 60k, you will still be entitled to some of the benefit anyway. Another thing I read somewhere (can't remember where now) stated that another problem with not claiming is that CB triggers your DCs National insurance number cards when they turn 16!

tilder Fri 26-Oct-12 13:10:58

Xenia it makes financial sense for me to work part time and not dh. His career provides far greater earning potential than mine. Am not sacrificing my career for his, it is merely a reflection of financial reality. Having said that it is also true that had I not taken maternity leave and returned part time my earning potential would be greater. But I don't see what that has to do with cb.

I see the point of including childcare costs as well as household income when checking for eligibility for cb. Just have no idea how that would work at a practical level.

3bunnies Fri 26-Oct-12 13:23:15

Well some costs will be included anyway as the 50000 assessment (if I understand it) will be based on net taxable income, so after claims for childcare vouchers and pensions have been taken out of the higher tax payer's pay. This means that if two parents were working and they used combined income then the couple between them could claim 110 a week childcare vouchers. Would probably even out the differences for school age, not at baby stage though.

Tweet2tweet Fri 26-Oct-12 13:23:29

With all the costs that the Government seems to have why are they cutting benefits to children and disabled people? I heard that, yet again, politicians are making personal claims for flats when renting their own, travelling 1st class and other such rubbish.
I will still get child benefit but who knows what it will be cut to next year? Once our next baby comes along we will be spending 1k a month for nursery and that's just for 3 days a week! I have to walk a 5 mile each day as can't afford the car parking fee/public transport with these charges. The child benefit we get goes straight into nursery fees, not a savings account like well off people seem to do.
The Government should be talking about how to subsidise excessive child care costs to 'encourage a society of hard workers'. Why doesn't Cameron consider that rather than assuming we are all on the scrounge! I feel it's punishing parents for working full time. I have not faith and feel let down as a female voter.

Mandy21 Fri 26-Oct-12 13:41:22

3bunnies theres another problem with that though because at the moment, there is no obligation on companies to provide vouchers. Another issue with the government's approach to working parents.

Also, vouchers of £110 per week, even if both partners' companies offer it, means you don't pay tax on a maximum of around £440 per month. On the basis that we're not higher rate tax payers, we'd save £88 in tax. Better than nothing, but not likely to make a dent in the £860 before school / after school costs referred to above - and certainly doesn't "balance out the differences" as you suggest.

weegiemum Fri 26-Oct-12 13:54:17

tilder same for us. I'm a teacher, dh is a GP. He can earn 3-4 times what I would ever be capable of (unless I did what I presume Xenia would like and move 500 miles and stop having a disability to work in the city).

We'll keep claiming though we'll get nothing. I don't trust this government to protect my pension and as dh is technically self employed anyway we're doing a tax return.

eachpeach11 Fri 26-Oct-12 14:01:55

Dh earns just over 60k. i do not work and we will lose it for our 3 dc.
Ok its not life or death for us but we are still disappointed as it goes against what child benefit is suppossed to be about.
Also worried about implications for pensions etc. Presume I will still claim and dh have it taken as tax. Crazy system.
Plus since apparently those earning over 60k are in top 5% the actual savings is probably minimal once you deduct costs involved.

meerkatmum Fri 26-Oct-12 14:09:00

Should be based on total household income, how is this fair otherwise.

soverylucky Fri 26-Oct-12 14:20:46

But it would still be unfair if it was based on total household income. Two working parents who earn a combined 52k will most likely be worse off than a couple where one person earns 52k because of the childcare costs that occur when both parents work. Either way it is unfair.

GrendelsMum Fri 26-Oct-12 14:22:47

Maybe there should be state-run nurseries available for all children from the age of 3 months up, or something, and parents pay a small fee for their children attend them?

scottishmummy Fri 26-Oct-12 14:27:13

haha imagine selling that proposition to the precious moments crew.nursery at 3mth
theyd liken it to state gulag and go on about why ave em if you let strangers watch em
there should be tax breaks for working parents using nursery.housewifes dont need free nursery place.what does a housewife need a break from shes not working?free places should be prioritised for working parents,and people assessed as having a need (mental,physical,social or need to train to enter job market)

MrsBethel Fri 26-Oct-12 14:33:43

eachpeach11 Fri 26-Oct-12 14:01:55
Dh earns just over 60k. i do not work and we will lose it for our 3 dc.
Ok its not life or death for us but we are still disappointed as it goes against what child benefit is suppossed to be about.

It's a stupid change to make. To avoid the big step-downs, and to avoid the discrepancy between families like yours and families with two incomes of £45k, and to maintain the fair balance of the tax burden between single people and families they should simply put up the higher rate of income tax instead. That would be much simpler, free to implement, and much fairer. Why won't they do it? They are putting politics first, whilst what's right is of no regard to them.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 14:41:14

I agree MrsBethel This would be much fairer, as it wouldn't just be attacking higher rate tax payers with children, who obviously have much higher outgoings than higher rate tax payers without children. Alas, we have an idiotic government who would rather see this as a benefit cut for the rich rather than a tax rise. It is in fact a tax rise in any case, as the claimant (if not the higher rate tax payer) will still get it. The partner on the other hand will face a marginal tax rate of 64% with 3 dc. Totally clueless twats, and to think, they get paid handsomely for coming up with these policies!!

Tweet2tweet Fri 26-Oct-12 14:41:32

Hear, hear Scottishmummy- that would be great. I could maybe afford to take the bus to work then! If only we could take that idea forward grin

scottishmummy Fri 26-Oct-12 14:44:08

i think people on higher wages dont need cb,its a nice extra but not essential
we need to prioritise those in need and working poor
boo hoo if mc aggrieved at losing cb,but that money can be redistributed to needy

Pyrrah Fri 26-Oct-12 14:44:57

The other stupid thing is that if they are paying it out - in order to claim it back at the end of the year - to pay it back out again etc, then I can't see where the savings will be, especially when you add on the cost of the admin.

Basically everyone should keep claiming and cripple the system.

We are trying to work out whether it is better to keep claiming and stick the money in something where we either get interest or something (premium bonds?) but can get it out to pay back at the end of the year - rather than saying that we don't want it at all.

The money is currently my only income till the business gets off the ground and pays for DD's school uniform, shoes and lunch. We lose it all but I'm damned if I'm going to make it easy for them.

scottishmummy Fri 26-Oct-12 14:48:16

thats a really stupid point,cripple the system?why to make a churlish point
the public purse is shrinking we are in recession,not all cb recipients need cb
whilst i dont agree how theyre implementing i agree the mc don't need a universal benefit

MrsBethel Fri 26-Oct-12 14:59:18

A properly thought through system would not have any big steps or jumps, and the marginal taxation rates would would be higher for higher incomes.

In our system the marginal taxation rates rise to very high figures for the middle class (over 60%), then drop back down again for the rich.

The middle classes would be happier to pay their share if they knew the rich had to do so as well.

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 15:07:26

The rich pay far and away more take than the squeezed middle. The first people to pay for this recession were the rich with massive tax increases. The top 1% of us pay 25% of the tax! We have been hugely hit by this recession on the tax front.

if we had one flat tax we would not have these marginal leaps and distortions. We have far too much tax complication.

For those filling out tax returns for the first time do be aware that if you pay to charity you can claim back in cash extra tax on your tax return. You should also declare buidling society interest already which is why it is surprising so many people on PAYE who are 40%+ tax payers don't fill out tax returns. They probably ought to be filling out tax returns already to ensure they pay the 40% tax on their savings as it is only deducted at basic rate.

If it is true as said above that CB triggers NI cards at age 16 it would make sense to carry on claiming it and then have it clawed back and taxed through the tax return. It also psychologically then at least suggests the state knows you are a parent even if they take back what they give to you. I will keep getting it particularly as I get so very little from the state so I would rather like to hurt the state and ensure it has a load of admin to give and take away. If that means less for the huge number of benefits claimants I support so be it.

Tweet2tweet Fri 26-Oct-12 15:07:32

I sometimes think that there's an unspoken plan that the Government want women/a parent to stay at home. All this talk about broken societies and the breakdown of the family. I certainly beleive that's what the current Government want anyway. So if they keep squeezing the middle, more families are going to have to make the decision that both can't afford to work. Then the out of touch Government get their 1950's dream and won't have to worry about young savages roaming the streets looting and mugging confused

I think it's a really scary situation. Look at the recent unequal pay cases. If less women are able to participate in the workforce then it's going to really set back women's progression in the work environment. I also acknowledge that men can be affected. In my personal situation my DH does 2 days childcare in week and I do weekend when he works.

Currently we just hope that get through the period until there's a little bit of relief at 3yrs when you get a bit of a subsidy. However I think by the time our child is 3 they will probably of scrapped that too.

Tweet2tweet Fri 26-Oct-12 15:09:43

oops- have scrapped not of scrapped! My ranting took my ability to write away