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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

Shinyblackgrape

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

Mandy21.

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.

CHILD BENEFIT SHOULD REMAIN A UNIVERSAL BENEFIT.

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.

CHILD BENEFIT SHOULD REMAIN A UNIVERSAL BENEFIT.

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

Tincletoes.

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 farce...how 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.

CHILD BENEFIT SHOULD REMAIN A UNIVERSAL BENEFIT

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

Mandy21.

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

Panda

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

Panda

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

Panda

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

Panda

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.

Bizarre

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.

https://headinbooks.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/whose-benefit/

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

headinbook

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.

winkgrin

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)

https://headinbooks.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/whose-benefit/

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

avenueone,

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
playates
parties

homework

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.

Hi,

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

Smelly

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

cheapandchic Fri 26-Oct-12 15:36:08

Sorry but being a stay at home mother is NOT a choice for me nor is it a luxury!

I simply cannot find a job that makes more than the astronomical costs of childcare for my two under 3 years old.

I really dont understand why this country seems to cripple you the second you give birth and I really dont understand why its so impossible for women to get equal rights, its 2012!

morethanpotatoprints Fri 26-Oct-12 16:07:19

Cheapandchic.

Its not an equal rights issue as your problem is chilcare payments. Some men stay at home because their wife/dp works and they can't afford childcare. If I could earn the highest wage my dh would be a sahp because we couldn't afford childcare neither.

FreddoBaggyMac Fri 26-Oct-12 16:11:20

I want to go off track a bit and say we should stop describing people's life choices as 'luxuries'. I you want to be completely correct about it a luxury is something that we don't NEED to keep us alive, so technically even having one child could be defined as a luxury!

I think most of us make choices based on what's best for our families and few of us live lives that we would ourselves define as luxurious! Someone above said that having four children is a luxury and I can see their point, but for me having had the experience of being an only child and my parents both dying when I was young, I felt that having a large family was a priority as I didn't want my children to have the experience I had of being alone in the world.

Similarly, most women choose to stay at home/ work based on what's best in their circumstances. Having that choice is in itself a luxury I suppose, but all of us give up something according to the choices we make and I think most of us with children would not describe our lives as 'easy' (which the term 'luxury' suggests).

Anyway, just wanted to blab on a bit about that as the term 'luxury' really grates on me!

Someone a while ago asked what someone with an earner of £50-£60k in the house needs child benefit for. DH earns in those figures and we rely on it... I think we live a fairly modest life: 4 bed semi (between 6 of us) in an expensive area which we need to live in to be close to DH's work, one ten year old car between us which we seldom use as we can't afford the petrol! Holidays abroad are way out of our budget, we had four night away in a caraven at Easter as our only holiday this year and they'll be holiday at all next year. The CB is used for things like school uniform, swimming lessons for the children... nothing very extravagent imo.

LittleAbruzzenWerewolf Fri 26-Oct-12 16:12:03

cheapandchic I'm in the same boat and would much rather be at work. The mums that work who have children in DS1's reception year all have free childcare because of their parents/in-laws, some of us do not have that luxury and cannot afford childcare. Before I had children, I had a job not a career and earned as much as I could for this area, only £20k. My husband is the breadwinner on £44k so it's a no-brainer. There are always people who want to be rude about it though.

FreddoBaggyMac Fri 26-Oct-12 16:19:47

I agree with you LittleAbruzzen, people forget that the majority of working mums do receive a significant amount of help from relatives and some of us don't have that option, if I was allowed one luxury in my life it would be having my mum around to look after the children while I went out to work for a few days a week smile

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 16:24:58

I never had help from relatives and we saw childcare something we each paid half of as I would not tolerate a sexist relationship. Why can't the £20k earns what their husbands do? Are the husbands brighter or better in some way? Don't the lower female earners have the same abilities?

FreddoBaggyMac Fri 26-Oct-12 16:30:44

Xenia, obviously wasn't speaking about you personally, well done for managing to balance work and childcare so well without help - I have nothing but admiration. I was a teacher before having DC1, and DH works in an industry wich is paid much better than teaching, so it made more sense for him to work than me. I had my children very close together (4 in 5 years) so staying at home was the best option for all of us (we both felt).

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 16:42:13

If any one's interested, I've just found this:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20093198

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 26-Oct-12 16:50:19

It does seem to me an anomaly that one house hold earning £99K can get full child benefit whilst another earning £50001 can't. And the hope is of course that the thought of filling out an SATR will put off some from claiming.

I don't howver think universal benefits are an affordable option any more. And I include winter fuel payments, free bus passes and tv licences in that.

alemci Fri 26-Oct-12 16:51:38

Another issue is the childcare costs. 'higher' earners don't qualify for tax credits but have to pay for childcare out of taxed incomeand may lose CB even though the women isn't in a fantastically well paid job and the couples income takes them slightly over the threshold plus the guy has become a higher tax payer. I don't think that is particularly fair.

yet as someone else said, the gps may llook after dcs and the other couple don't have childcare costs.

I think they could keep this universal. cheaper to administer. I still think only pay for say 4 kids would be fairer in the long run.

FreddoBaggyMac Fri 26-Oct-12 17:06:59

I think it would be much more reasonable, simple and fair to restrict child benefit to two children than what is proposed (and I say that as a mum of four!)

FreddoBaggyMac Fri 26-Oct-12 17:09:27

Good link ihategeorge, I really hope they're right in saying the cut may at least be delayed.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 17:17:43

Yes, Freddo, it's given me a bit of hope but we'll see (hmm)

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 17:19:24

Sorry, should be hmm emoticon hmm

tilder Fri 26-Oct-12 17:20:35

I don't view my worth or intelligence by my salary. I work in an industry where one degree is a minimum qualification as a scientist. I will never earn as much as dh who is in medicine. I fail to see how that makes me some how secondary. Nor do I see what this has to do with cb.

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 17:22:40

That's very interesting hate - I wonder if it's worth writing to Mr Field.

<shouting alert - apols>

MUMSNET - I HAVE HAD NO RESPONSE TO MY TWO POSTS AND TWO MESSAGES ASKING IF SETTING UP A WEBCHAT IS FEASIBLE. I DO GENUINELY UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE VERY BUSY. HOWEVER, CAN YOU AT LEAST ACKNOWLEDGE THE MESSAGES SO I KNOW YOU HAVE THEM/CAN LOOK IN TO THINGS? THANK YOU

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 17:31:36

Freddo, very wise suggestion - just pay it for first two children, so remains universal, much simpler to administer. The BBC link says 500,000 more people will fill out self assessment tax returns. What a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

The same has been suggested for free bus pass etc - that rather than means test it (if they decide to) cheaper to say if you are over 75 rather than 65 you get the benefit.

FreddoBaggyMac Fri 26-Oct-12 17:33:04

Tilder, who has said it makes you secondary? I don't think any woman here sees themselves as secondary... we all just have to decide what's best for our families based on our own individual circumstances. I don't see myself as secondary because I've taken a career break to look after my children. I didn't decide to stay at home and look after the children because I thought DH was more intelligent than me (he's certainly not!) It was based on the practicalities of maximising our income when we couldn't afford childcare costs.

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 17:34:46

Yes, but time after time women marry these men who earn more. Why is that? It is the main reason women earn so muchl ess than men and give up careers because they marry Mr Big bucks. If you earned 10x your other half as I did with mine you can bet women would not be at home wiping bottoms. This marrying up thing is the biggest reason women have about 10% of positions of power only because they marry someone who earns more so they do not bother carrying on with work. If they married men earning sday £20k when they earned £40k women would do so much better.

FreddoBaggyMac Fri 26-Oct-12 17:42:37

I did not marry my husband for his money Xenia grin I didn't even know what he did for a living when we met. If teaching had paid more than his job (which it probably should!! But that's another thread altogether...) I'd happily have let DH stay at home and wipe the bottoms!

LilyBolero Fri 26-Oct-12 17:46:57

There are various ideas that the Government has sneaked into the public consciousness.

1) It is ok to ask HRT payers WITH CHILDREN to contribute, whilst HRT payers WITHOUT CHILDREN do not.

2) It is fair to ask a family earning 50-60k to pay a marginal rate of 70%, when a family on 99k is not, and when a rate of 50% is seen as 'too high' for someone on 150k.

If I were running the country, I would firstly restore Child Benefit to being a tax allowance, for all people earning HRT. It could remain as a benefit for those under the HRT threshold.

I would then RAISE the HRT threshold to about 70k. It was instigated as being a tax for the 'very well off', not for people earning about 40k - how many people know that George Osborne is LOWERING the HRT threshold, despite inflation???

And then I would raise the amount of tax you had to pay after 70k to about 43 or 44%, depending on the maths. And would do away with the 45% after 150k. Which would restore the tax system to how it was conceived to be, and simplify it too. Thereby ensuring that higher earners contributed more, in a progressive way (ie through a graduated income tax).

PandaSpaniel Fri 26-Oct-12 18:11:12

xenia Wish I could meet a man who would look after me financially. Maybe I am stuck in the dark ages but if my partner wanted to be the main 'breadwinner' I wouldn't mind. Thats not to say I wouldn't work, (I would go potty being stuck at home)

But hey this doesn't have anything to do with this thread grin

Mandy21 Fri 26-Oct-12 18:19:28

Xenia you may have done very well in your career, but your post is a bit patronising! Most people end up in a particular career as a result of the choices they made when they were 16 or 18 and decided what A levels they were going to take, or what degree they were going to do. Most teenagers of that age didn't have the foresight to choose particular careers because they were well paid or having a family 15 or 20 years later. If you did, then hats off to you.

And hopeless romantic that I am, I also think that 99% women marry because they fall in love, irrespective of what career / earnings potential a potential husband had!

I don't think that women are in the position their in now because they do not bother carrying on with work simply because they have a high earning husband - thats ridiculous.

Mandy21 Fri 26-Oct-12 18:21:44

sorry, full of typos - I meant careers that fit in with having a family, and they're rather than their. Whoops

aliphil Fri 26-Oct-12 18:32:51

Xenia, there is also the issue that some industries and professions go belly-up, which people often have no way of knowing about when they go into them. When I had a job, I was earning the same as DH or sometimes a little more (though neither of us went into a high-paying profession), but while his field is about as secure as you can get these days, work in mine is drying up; I was very actively searching for over a year (until I was so obviously pregnant that no one would have employed me anyway), got maybe four or five interviews in that time and no job. I can't afford to retrain, so if I got a job it wouldn't be highly paid and we wouldn't be able to afford childcare.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 26-Oct-12 19:14:06
TessOfTheBurbervilles Fri 26-Oct-12 20:15:57

Xenia - you really do seem to have a bee in your bonnet about women who aren't high earners.

Not everyone can be a high earner, there aren't enough of those types of jobs, and at the same time we need people to do every type of work.

Who is going to care for our sick and elderly, if everyone studies to be a lawyer?!

Xenia Fri 26-Oct-12 20:21:24

As jobs go "belly up" that's why it is better if both keep their careers. Also yes women may marry for love but surprise surprise 4 in 5 marry someone who earns more s, there may be no conscious money seeking there is an attraction to the good provider. If you look at any number of mumsnet threads women are with men who just happen to earn more. They were not attracted to the doc tor's surgery male cleaner but to the doctor himself etc etc. Anyway it's off point except for my piont that if we make it hard for housewives financially such as this measure (and I am delighted if we can say Cameron is the working mother supporter who will equalise more maternity and paternity leave and chase housewives back into positions of power) may be more of them can rise to the top.

I certsanily agree the upper rate tax level is pretty low now for 40% but someone a pensioner writing in today's papers reminded us that we used to pay 35% basic rate tax - I think I paid that when I first started out, that was the starting point. If we merged tax and NI which together are aboutr 33% I think and had that as a flat including on savings and made the capital gains tax rate that too and abolished all these benefits, credits, CB for those in work we might get the economy moving again and everyone woudl think okay I've paid my third to the state and the rest is mine.

scottishmummy Fri 26-Oct-12 20:51:23

actually i agree,its prudent not to be dependent upon another waged adult
nor woukd i give up my financial autonomy
two wages is a good safety net and more than that i love working

krystianah Fri 26-Oct-12 22:09:13

Doh!! It's hardly surprising most women end up with a bloke who earns more, given that, statistically, men in this country earn more than women.

krystianah Fri 26-Oct-12 22:11:56

Throw a stick in the local pub and you'll hit one. And if he doesn't earn more than you now, he will in 20 years.

duchesse Fri 26-Oct-12 22:20:26

Mandy, those wraparound child care figures are eye-watering. shock

I'm in France at the moment where at DD3's school breakfast club is €1.50 a day 7-9 and after school club (includes "goûter") is €2.50, or €3.00 for both where the facility is used more than 3 times a week. Total bill for a child if they use the facility all 4 school days of the week: €12/week.

Wednesdays are a day off in primary school and the children of working parents can go to "centre aéré" where they do all sorts of activities on that day for a very reasonable amount of money.

I don't know if it is subsidised by the state, but all I'll say is that it's affordable, by pretty much everyone.

welshcake30 Fri 26-Oct-12 22:35:42

I am new to mumsnet but have been hovering for months ,this topic really interests me! we as a family earn 26K +a year after tax ,child tax credit and child benefit are included in this sum,we are not entitled to wtc ,my partner works full time40+hrs a wk and i work partime 2 /3 days pw.As a rule iv'e noticed many of you disagree with the morals behind some family's which are soley reliant on benefits, but throughout this thread you make it perfectly clear that despite you're own incomes of 55k+ you still feel you would be let down by the government should this privilage be taken away from you !

Pyrrah Fri 26-Oct-12 23:59:14

Can someone explain why £36 million is being paid out to children who have never set foot in this country (2/3rds living in Poland) merely because one of their parents is paying NI over here?

Bristolbella Sat 27-Oct-12 03:19:19

We will lose our CB. Sadly, we rely on it to buy things for the kids. Last month it bought 2 x shoes and, a winter coat and a cardigan.

Our standard of living has really taken a dive, both NHS workers, no pay rise in about 4 years.

Ok, means test us, but means test the rich elderly people in my neighbourhood who have no mortgage, no child care and don't need to run two cars. I'm sorry but those years when you are bringing up children are horribly expensive and we've never struggled like this before. It does make me resent my very wealthy elderly neighbours their winter fuel allowance/free TV licence etc.

eachpeach11 Sat 27-Oct-12 06:14:12

Nobody likes to lose something they always had though. It has always been a non means tested benefit and such a small amount related to the amount of tax paid by HRT payers. I think the person who said increasing tax rate for all HRT payers would be fairer.

legoballoon Sat 27-Oct-12 07:54:46

It has all be said before.
(1) families with one earner just over the very arbitrary limit (which I had heard was the 40% tax bracket, but which is being referred to on here as £50k) are being penalised, whilst a dual income couple on a combined income of up to £99,999 would be eligible for the benefit. I know people who have huge assets, run own businesses etc., and pay themselves lower tax bracket income salaries - they will continue to receive CB despite all their personal wealth.
(2) It will be expensive and difficult to administer - savings made will be minimal.
(3) An income of £50k in many part of the country, for a family, is not a fortune.
(4) If you're already being taxed at 40% on what you earn over a given amount, then have CB withdrawn, it hardly encourages people to work hard.
(5) If tax allowances aren't transferable between partners in a marriage or civil partnership, why should a SAHP's only income be withdrawn because his/her partner earns £x? Sadly there are a few relationships out there where SAHPs are given 'an allowance' by the wage earner, and this will really affect them. (Not that I think the state should subsidise financially controlling fuckwits people who treat their partners like paid staff.

Personally too, I think very young children do benefit from staying at home, if it can be managed financially by their parent(s), and if the SAHP/part-time worker is happy to do so. Also, for many families the going back to work / staying at home with preschool age kids is a no-brainer financially due the cost, availability and quality of childcare. The withdrawal of CB is a double kick in the teeth.

The only good thing that will come out of this is that the Tories will be lose the next election. They are so out of touch, and Osborne's arrogance means he will not renege on this poorly thought out policy. Whatever he says: We are not in this together.

legoballoon Sat 27-Oct-12 08:08:42

Welshcake30 and Bristol BellaFor me, your posts illustrates the 'divide and conquer' mentality of our right wing government and media.

Let's stop bickering about who is earning relatively minimal larger/smaller amounts than us, who is receiving winter fuel allowance but has no mortgage etc., who gets benefits etc.

You can never create a society where everybody has an exactly similar standard of living - someone will have a week abroad, others will go camping in the UK; some will run one or two cars, others will be dependent on public transport; some will shop at Primark, others at Jigsaw etc - but most working people are still dependent on their monthly wage / salary, and need their job to keep going.

You could however start paying a living wage to people, and reduce taxpayers' subsidies for businesses, or tie up the legal loopholes that allow people and business to avoid tax legitimately. There is loads of mismanagement, and billions of pounds of taxpayers' money is wasted, subsidising 'private' companies which have taken over essential services. The country is mis-managed and run by and for the very wealthy - those to whom CB would literally be pin money.

We should stop bitching about who is using their CB for a skiing holiday and stick together to say that this is a poorly thought out measure which will adversely affect a lot of families and children.

legoballoon Sat 27-Oct-12 08:12:38

From the independent article (linked above):

An HMRC spokesman said: “Letters explaining the new child benefit rules will be issued in batches from next week, according to plan. There are no delays, and plenty of time for those affected to consider their options and make an informed choice in time for the 7 January rule change.”

Consider your options: which one of the kids is your favourite?!

Onlyhappywhenitrains Sat 27-Oct-12 08:36:38

I am a sahm. Dh earns just over 60k, some years more with a bonus. However he doesn't split this equally and is much much better off than me. We will lose it and he won't make up the difference or even half of the difference.
So I will be significantly worse off but to him, the higher tax payer, it won't make any change.

Having the small amount of money of my own made me feel better and safer. And I do know of couples where household income is nearly 100k with only one child who will keep it, versus families of single income of around 60k and several children who will lose it.

How can it be fair?

Declutterbug Sat 27-Oct-12 09:27:50

From the NBC website:

"HMRC says it will "expect" couples to give each other basic financial details to see if they must be taxed.

HMRC will also let taxpayers ask for rudimentary information from its records to see whether or not their partners receive child benefit, or have an "adjusted net income" above £50,000, and should be paying the new tax.

This runs counter to the general principle of taxpayer confidentiality, which has been a formal part of the income tax system since 1803, as well as against the policy of separate taxation of married couples which has been in place since 1991.

But HMRC says its rules give it the authority to do this."

REALLY??? Dh would be able to ask hmrc how high my income is and vice versa and they reckon this is legal? I'm thinking we should all go and look at the detail of the data protection legislation and the information commissioner's website.

Declutterbug Sat 27-Oct-12 09:28:24

BBC website. Stoopid iPad

shortwife Sat 27-Oct-12 09:38:31

I have no objection to the benefit being taken away - I'm afraid I am of the opinion that it is a personal choice to have a child and up to the parents to be able to provide for that child (no matter what they earn) - BUT I do object to the inequality of the system. Either husband and wife are taxed separately or they are taxed together, the government (or any other body) should not be able to pick and choose when to deem them one unit and when to see them as separate entities.

I waited til age 38 to have my first child partly due to finances and it's likely I won't have another as we simply couldn't afford 2 lots of childcare and couldn't cope on only one salary - we live in London and are bursting out of our tiny flat. If we want to move somewhere bigger then we need 2 salaries.

Child benefit shouldn't feature in anyone's mind when deciding whether to have a child.

Incidentally , we're not living in central London we're in zone 4 and my husband is only just over the threshold so we will lose the benefit even though I don't earn anywhere close to it - so this is not the opinion of someone in a 'privileged' position.

ByTheWay1 Sat 27-Oct-12 09:45:27

It is the taking away of something we have come to rely on which is what bites the most.... like taking a sudden pay cut at work.... if you spend to your income, then you need to find that money or find something to cut back on.

Xenia Sat 27-Oct-12 10:36:00

I looked athte confidentiality aspect of this too as raised above. At present you dont' have to tell your spouse what you earn. You won't under this either but HMRC has been given the power to let one spouse know if the other is over the limit. So if someone has told their spouse none o your business if I earn £1m or £10k nowHMRC will reveail if the person is above that or not but not the sum. If the spouse pretends to earn little people will now know. If the spouse is very very well off but lies to HMRC but keeps the tax evasion fdrom the wife or husband who now finds out Mr rolls Royce declares under £50kl to HMRC a year that could be interesting for some couples too.

As someone who thinks adults should earn their own mnoey and never live off the money of another and that it's very unwise to work part time or be a housewife I am not against the retention here of single person taxation but the confidentiality issue is interesting. however if the law has been changed to allow HMRC to do what it chooses that will trump the Data Protection Act as if things are disclosed which the law allows then it's fine. It must be a very weird marriage where you don't nkow what your other half earns, have no joint accoutns, never see their P60 or payslip.

ANyway the problem for people is change. Eg on student fees had we known at birth fees woudl be £30k for a first degree people could have spent 18 years saving for that as they do in the USA> Instead itw as announced without time for people to put money by. The child benefit change has come about quite quickly too.

By the way it replaced a child tax allowance that husbands tended to claim against their highest rates of tax because it was felt non working mothers were not getting money in their own hand and for the first 10 years at least it was onl paid to the mother and that was an important part of its concept. However before that you had a tax allowance for each child which I presume my parents would have had before about 1970 when child benefit came in.

rlp Sat 27-Oct-12 10:57:35

I have a friend with 5 children who is expecting to lose 70% of CB. She is practically a single parent anyway as DH works late all the time. She can't work full time herself (does a little self employed work) due to ill health. She pointed out that CB goes directly to the mother and that she uses it for children's clothes, school trips etc. It is already vastly unfair that she can't use her personal allowance against her husband's salary.
I personally don't earn enough to pay tax - but DH earns less than the £50 grand limit so we aren't caught out here.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Sat 27-Oct-12 11:20:10

There are good reasons why couples cannot share tax allowances, rlp. Explained by cleverer bods than I upthread.

Xenia Sat 27-Oct-12 12:23:22

Very important that you cannot share allowances.

I would also like the immoral tax evasions of working spouses putting their savings into the names of their non working spouses too. HMRC ought to get on to that. They lose masses of tax that way every year.

BoffinMum Sat 27-Oct-12 12:38:39

Xenia makes some interesting points, and I'd like to build on that by saying that half the problem is independent taxation set against household benefits, which traps many women in non careers, as they consider overall household income as more of a factor in their career plans than their own independent lifelong earning power. If we want true feminism benefits need to be independent too. Spouses are not chattels.

Xenia Sat 27-Oct-12 12:42:56

Absolutely but I would be wanting to move away from housing benefit and tax credits for workers as they interfere in free markets and keep wages down - they are a state subsidy which means employers pay workers less.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Sat 27-Oct-12 13:00:26

It's an absolute scandal that working adults need housing benefit.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 27-Oct-12 13:10:50

Onlyhappy - as I currently understand it, you can continue to claim the CB, and your dh will have to pay it back by doing a tax return.

I just told my partner this, and he was a bit horrified - he's never done a tax return, has always paid PAYE, and can't see why there isn't a lot of publicity about this, making sure that people are being told they will have to put money away to pay back the CB.

It will be interesting to see what the letters actually say when they arrive.

Mandy - So it goes without saying that if both parents work, they will have childcare costs, which as everyone agrees are astronomical in the UK - well, no, some people have older children, and still get CB for them! There are already tax credits for people paying for childcare, aren't there? Although they do need to be better, and pre-tax deduction sounds like an excellent plan.

There was an example given above of 2 families both with a combined income of 80K - depending on how that income is split affects whether you get CB or not. How in earth can that be fair? (Have just written to my MP asking that question!)

Declutterbug Sat 27-Oct-12 13:36:23

Just to re-iterate it's important not to stop claiming in case your household circumstances change during the year and your annual income ends up being less than predicted, eg because of illness or redundancy. You cannot claim the cb for the whole year retrospectively when you get to the financial year end and discover you would after all have been able to keep it.

That said, you do need to keep it ready for it to be repaid!

BoffinMum Sat 27-Oct-12 14:15:35

Exactly Xenia, markets in housing and childcare are enormously skewed at the moment, and over-regulated. It mitigates against growth. Childcare shouldn't really be a market, I think, and in terms of housing we need much better supply of good quality rentals on long leases. Nothing in it for landlords at the moment, or childcare providers.

laughtergoodmedicine Sat 27-Oct-12 14:45:47

we were never all in it together, but cuts do have to be made. I dont know about current child benefit. But Duncan |Smith is flying kite on 2 kid families.
Which the Lib-dems say they will not support.

Beware of politicians seeking cheap headlines about unrealistic things

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

minderjinx Sat 27-Oct-12 16:03:03

We will lose our child benefit. My husband (also in the public sector) has also had a pay freeze for the last three years. during which time I have not put up my prices (as a childminder) as a lot of my families are also struggling, though I often wonder why I bother to work 50 hours a week for barely the national minimum wage. Everyone moans about childcare costs but childcarer incomes are pitiful.

But what strikes me as particularly unfair is the regional differences in the value of earnings. In London and the south east £50k a year is not wealthy - it will barely afford you a modesy family home, whereas elsewhere it is "comfortable". Taxation and benefits should be based on disposable income!

ByTheWay1 Sat 27-Oct-12 16:06:36

remember to keep claiming if you are a SAHM too - the HRP (to ensure years count towards your pension) is linked to Child Benefit.... or is the wage earner going to be hit for pension payments too.... (indirectly..)

notenoughsocks Sat 27-Oct-12 17:00:44

About what boffinmum and xenia were saying about the problem of independent taxation vs household benefits. I could be wrong about this, but as far as I can work out, until now only poorer people (i.e. enough to need benefits) have had to put up with sharing income information with their partners. Maybe this child benefit issue will alert a lot more people to this problem. You both seem really knowledgeable about this, and would appreciate your comments (or does this really belong on a different thread?)

I don't consider this potential silver lining worth losing the universal status of child benefit over though. So, back on track:

CHILD BENEFIT SHOULD REMAIN A UNIVERSAL BENEFIT

PS - xenia, sorry to be a pedant again, but as I said upthread and as far as I know, it replaced tax allowances AND universal family allowances.

BoffinMum Sat 27-Oct-12 19:17:36

I think some people share information, some don't. However demanding that people do for the convenience of government administration, whilst at the same time failing to give any legal clout whatsoever to unmarried couples to insist on this for other purposes, puts some people in a very weak position. This is usually the lesser earner and in the vast majority of cases this is going to be the female half of the relationship.

We have a choice. We can reform the law properly so that there's a completely level playing field in terms of disclosure for people of all social classes, whether married or not and of all sexual persuasions. Alternatively we can have a situation where people have completely independent financial affairs and are assessed accordingly. (At the moment this only applies to unmarried couples when alimony is being worked out).

My preference as a feminist is to have independent assessment and responsibility, access to benefits and taxation regulations. Fairest all round.

princesssmartypantss Sat 27-Oct-12 20:40:17

my dh works hard, and so earns above the threshold, my company would only have me back full time, so i decided (based on my job taking me away overnight most weeks for a night or two, and having extended and at times unpredictable hours) to not go back and become a sahm (or shambles as i feel i am at times!) I am fortunate that my dh is lovely and will always prioritise spending on our ds, so he does get to go to groups and classes, but i fear other families might not be as fortunate and children from relatively well off parents may have used the cb for basics and activities which would no longer be available. i would like to think that surestart centres would offer some levelling of activities available, but as we live on the border of three counties our nearest three centres all offer different numbers of classes and the county we live in only offers one free activity a week, it would seem that if we lived 20 mintes drive south that we would be at the childrens centre every day, so these don't seem to be consistently funded either.
i agree with posters who say it is a benefit for children not parents, it is also my understanding that it used to be paid to mothers through the post office and collected weekly to pay for essentials, seems that the reason for cb has been totally lost and is not about what is right for children at all, and all about balancing the budget, in a strange, complicated and labour intensive way!

hanahsaunt Sat 27-Oct-12 20:44:48

Dear Xenia

In the great balancing act of life dh and I both worked. Until he got his current job a year ago we were earning the same basic rate of pay on paper; I chose to work at 0.6FTE which ensured minimal childcare costs (I had a particularly good employer and worked 30 minutes less than school hours for 4 days meaning I did all the pre and post school childcare) and he received on call supplements so his take him salary was bigger.

His training contract came to an end and he was required to find a consultant job elsewhere. The current economic climate meant that we had to relocate and he now earns as a basic salary much more than I did (though not equal to our previous joint income). I am not working because there are quite simply no jobs. I am at home and do enjoy that but loathe to work to earn something which wouldn't cover the costs of childcare for one preschooler and for three in school holidays.

We will lose our CB and it will be noticeable. I don't mind other than for the myriad fairness reasons described elsewhere. You don't think I ought to be a housewife - what should I be instead? Who is going to magic me a job that suits my skill set, give me part time hours and pay me like before so we can balance the books?

hanahsaunt Sat 27-Oct-12 21:25:31

And now thinking about the loss of CB, the forever pay freeze, the doubling of pension contributions (and moving to a more expensive part of the country) - hmm - squeezed middle it is.

Mandy21 Sat 27-Oct-12 21:39:02

Atia the vast majority of households with 2 working parents ( who claim CB) will have some child care costs - i don't know what the age is for letting older children go home and let themselves in, but I'm guessing it's 13 or 14? It's payable from 0-16.

And you're wrong in setting out the child credits pay for childcare - have no idea what the threshold is for receipt of child credit but it's very low, would suggest small minority of families qualify.

princess you said your DH works hard so he earns above the threshold. As posters have said above its not as black and white as saying hard work equals higher pay. My H and I both work damn hard but due to pay freezes / redundancies in the industry (we're both in the same sector) we're not earning much more than we did 5 yrs ago.

LongStory Sat 27-Oct-12 22:31:34

Boffinmum I totally agree with your point about taking career / childcare decisions based on lifelong earning potential. I get so cross when people just look at the immediately difficult years and don't add up the long term impact of stepping out of their careers.
Xenia, I was surprised to hear you speak harshly of part time working. Surely, for those in jobs where it's feasible, part time working is the perfect response to this arbitrary CB limit. I am able to work 3 days and keep my income below £50k, beyond which point I will face a 78% marginal tax rate. There is a guy in my workplace in the same situation who will be moving to part time working in January, in response to this change.
So this Government policy is decreasing aspiration and reducing incentive to work.

googlenut Sat 27-Oct-12 22:44:13

Dh and I have never received any benefits - not a single tax credit or childcare voucher despite putting 3 children through nursery. I am so angry about losing the only contribution we got for raising three children. So dh got the opportunity to reduce his hours and me increase which means we won't now lose CB. So we are taking it- end result to the government is a net loss as dh will no longer be paying 40% tax. Wonder how many other people will do this sort of thing. Also if the end result is it costs more to police the system than it saves-what about the loss of all this money going back into the economy? we used the money for shoes, clothes, swimming lessons. It would have been a real loss to us.

LongStory Sat 27-Oct-12 23:03:16

interesting, googlenut. Are others going part time (or considering it) in response? DH and I have taken advantage of different situations over the past year and we'll both be around 40-50k so in the golden zone ... gosh, all those luxuries we have in our lifestyle - that lovely static in Wales for a fortnight each summer, those basic kids clothes that have lasted for three boys, gosh, we even buy meat sometimes!

ihategeorgeosborne Sat 27-Oct-12 23:32:27

In our situation, DH earns between 50 and 60k and I'm a stay at home. We're currently trying to save for a deposit to buy a house, but we've decided that DH will pay extra into his pension to take his taxable pay back to 50k. It's not ideal, but we really don't see the point in paying 42% in tax and NI on income over 50k and lose nearly 2,500k in child benefit.

Havingnomorekids Sun 28-Oct-12 00:33:26

princesssmartypantss is right. Cameron and Co have lost the meaning of what CB was intended for. They have visions of us swanning around spending it willy-nilly. The reality is, as most posters on here are saying is that we are still using CB for essentials. T

Squeezed middle again angry being penalised. Most people tend to live within their means. So if you earn more, you tend to have a bigger house. But that equates to a bigger mortgage, bigger bills etc. So we are in the same boat. We all have kids who eat us out of house and home, need so many more clothes as the kids grow out of them so fast etc etc.

In 2010 DH was made redundant. My salary covered us and he luckily found work 6 months later, with a 25% wage cut, but it was work and we accepted it. We sold his car. Then in 2011 I got put on part time, taking a 40% pay cut. I set up a small business part time to try and make up some lost earnings. I found out I was expecting. I had DS in September 2011 and all the while was running my business, working around him. Then in January 2012, was made redundant. I managed to get a job, earning for full time what I formerly earned in 3 days. Plus I have childcare costs and the cost of everything else has increased so much. I don't pay into a pension anymore as I can't afford the payments each month. I studied our bank statements since my son was born and worked out that if we lost CB, we would be overdrawn every month. We do not fall into the income bracket that is affected by this change but it I empathise with people who need it.

They just screw the same ones all the time and it stinks!

Blue81 Sun 28-Oct-12 00:58:05

A single parent on minimum wage NEEDS benefits. Those of you on 50k plus, single or otherwise do not NEED this benefit.

Yes it is unfair how the Government are going about it but being poor and NEEDING a benefit is when you try to make your electric last the weekend so you go without something else. It is not one of your darling children missing out on a ballet class!

I doubt most of you have ever seen a prepayment gas or electric meter, let alone had to use one.

I will probably get slated for this post but before you do, ask yourself Do you honestly truly NEED this benefit?

WansteadG Sun 28-Oct-12 01:02:23

I am not sure what is going to happen to us DH is being made redundant in Feb so where does that leave us! Plus a stay at home mum (2 kids) one is disabled so receive carer's and DLA. But that may change too. Feeling very insecure at the moment. Maybe C and his gang can take the disability away too!

googlenut Sun 28-Oct-12 02:58:53

But it's not a benefit like housing benefit, it's a payment from the government to acknowledge the added cost of having children. Before there used to be tax breaks for those that had children but not anymore. So when this is lost there will be nothing to acknowledge that those on 40 per cent tax have children to bring up.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Sun 28-Oct-12 06:27:31

Blues, do you think cutting cb for wealthier families is going to increase the amount given to poor families (single parent or not)?

Because it won't. If anything, eroding benefits for middle income households makes it easier and easier to make life harder for everyone.

I am well acquainted with prepay meters btw.

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 08:00:52

My advice to most is keep claiming it even if you earn what I do. All it means is it is clawed back on the tax return on which you may find you can claim allowances for things you had not realised. You might even find if you go and read a few good tax websites that by the time you add on pensions, charity contributions and work expenses you don't have it clawed back at all for those who have never claimed what they might on a tax return.

If you are in PAYE you will be written to very soon my HMRC asking if you want to keep claiming it. I suggest saying yes. They aren't bothering to write to people like me - self employed.

The person above syaing in the past it was just those on benefits who had to disclose if they had moved their lover in. Indeed - this is the first time that those not on benefits have had this issue - who stays the night, when do they move in, what counts, how many nights a week, what does that new lover you are about to move in earn. In fact it might be quite useful - in my view if you purport to love someone and indeed marry them and will be together for life it is not too unreasonable that you know what the other earns and owns. I know some couples choose not to disclose that but it's a bit weird not to do so. We have far too many mumsnet threads of women who know nothing about their hsuband's finan ces on a split up/divorce at all. I wish they spent more time reading each other's tax returns and pension statements than fussing about what high heels to buy. If this move means couples ask each other about implotant financial matters, perhaps make a will, consider inheritance tax planning etc it could be a good thing.

(What is interesting is why are so many women married to men who earn so much more. Did you seek them out those men or were you brought up to make your career play second fiddle to his?

Part time for some women can be the worst of all worlds as you lose all hope of future promotion often , get off the path to riches and still end up as muggins at home with a husband who thinks your job matters not and makes you do his washing and yet without the full time hours at home a housewife has although in terms of being able to get back to work at some point and try to redeem the career and move from the Tesco shop floor to the board yes part time at least keeps your hand in but why not put that man at home with babies nad nappies for 5 years or on part time hours whilst his wife becomes the hospital consultant? Far too much sexism around. At least Cherie Blair and Nick 's Clegg's wife MG carried on a proper career. Mrs Cameron is part time and Mrs Brown gave it all up. Mrs Osborne gave up most work to mess around at home on very low pay writing books.)

JackThePumpkinKing Sun 28-Oct-12 08:03:55

I'd love to know what you do for a living Xenia?

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 08:07:27

I don't want to say. I don't like when people gather information from my posts and put them altogether on one thread as I try to retain some confidentiality. If you searched my name on here and read a few threads I am on almost every other day someone says what I do or what they think I do.

Anyway it's 8am, I've eaten my bacon and eggs, 4 of the 5 children are home (I can hear one getting up), so now I'd better work as I have a heap of benefits claimants and child benefit recipients to keep so I work 50 weeks a year for the good of this nation without getting much thanks.... laughing as I type. Washer emptied and put back on and dishwasher on).

ByTheWay1 Sun 28-Oct-12 08:18:39

Xenia - you and I have different very views.... to me a marriage consists of forming a team....

My hubby earns more than me because as part of our team "negotiations" we agreed that I would take on the role of home/kids/finances/PA etc.... things which he values greatly as they allow him the freedom to work as needed for the team and earn us more money than would otherwise have been the case....

I chose my role as quite simply I am good at those things... I now work part time as the child rearing part of the "job" has diminished a bit with the kids growing older - but I "earn" more from managing our finances and negotiating prices/utilities etc than I do from my part time work.

We COULD both work FT on a fair bit of money each and pay others to do those roles, but choose not to - we enjoy life and do not live simply to earn money or status.

mumzy Sun 28-Oct-12 08:21:12

THE OTHER ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM AS REGARDS CHILD BENEFITS IS THEY CAN BE CLAIMED BY FOREIGN WORKERS IN THE UK FOR THEIR CHILDREN LIVING ABROAD. I THINK THIS IS TOTAL MADNESS AND WE NEED A REFEREDUM ON THE EU ASAP

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 08:22:59

Yes but you are enforcing sexist stereotypes, providing a bad example to others and ensuring women never get anywhere. The more couples where man just happens to do the full time work and women clean up, mind children and look after the house the closer we get back to where we were before women could even vote, become doctors and become prime minister. If too many women do as you do then we could end up like women are under the Taliban or in Saudi - with women as home maker and facilitator and man as earner. Women own 1% of the world's wealth. We need to get that up to nearer 50% if not more and we don't get there through women taking on a domestic role at home. The person choice is political and hurts other women.

ByTheWay1 Sun 28-Oct-12 08:34:18

Sorry, I am not erudite enough to argue against the strong feminist viewpoint you hold, but as a woman I do believe that I as an individual (man or woman) should have a choice,

and if I have made an informed choice based on my family's circumstances - then I have the right to live as I damn well please... women CAN become prime minister, they CAN become doctors if they choose that path.

I choose to be part of a team that is not enslaved by the need for consumerism and wealth - why should I be out there working all hours god sends so I can pay someone to do the stuff I want to do.... when I would rather be at home watching the dragonflies hatch in summer, playing board games with the kids after school.

LittleAbruzzenWerewolf Sun 28-Oct-12 08:36:56

Surely it's about choice Xenia. Everyone takes their own circumstances into account and does what is right for them/their family. I certainly didn't marry for money, but that old thing called 'love'. We also didn't foresee my in-laws telling us to sod off with childcare help. I am not going out to work for a pittance (as I have also tried to explain before, no room to improve on my salary in this area) to pay for petrol and childcare because it makes others feel better about their crusade. DH cooks, cleans and is great with our DCs too by the way. In my best friend's case, she is the breadwinner and her DH stays at home, he used to earn what I did, is that ok because he is male? It is simply a case of who earns the most working.

LittleAbruzzenWerewolf Sun 28-Oct-12 08:37:39

Well said ByTheWay

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 08:40:39

Yes but inlaws say no childcare help (and why should they help and we never had any) so why then wasn't it the father at home and mother working? Why resort to the sexist stereotype which does women most damage? Sorry I cannot remember your work but it sounds like you picked work which would pay very little and your husband did not/ Why is that? Was that sexist? Also it's an investment in the future. If you will work for 30 or 40 more years then it is worth working for not much not to get advancved in a career. You might even earn 10x your huusband's earnings in due course as more and more women are.

Yes, it is okay if someone is male for now in 2012 because women own 1% of the world's wealotyh and until we get to 50% we want more men earning much less at home and women at work. We have a long way to go to balance things out and every wife staying home spoils the chances of that in due course but the bottom line is women think they marry for love but 4 in 5 marry someone who earns more so not surprisingly it is their career which ends up as pin money thing.

mam29 Sun 28-Oct-12 08:45:41

Xenia-omg choked on my cornflakes did we seek out higher paid men!

I think sad fact of world is even now men generally have most of top jobs and better paid despite girls having done better in school.

I know one person who has no idea what her husbands income is.

blue-yes had prepaid meters in past pre kids when lived in flats and uni.

This change will badly hit a single parent who lives in southeast as 50k is 35next and living costs/childcare pricey.

I like to think single parents lower income already get support maybe im naive but im going by people I know or have worked with

housing benefit.
ha house-so lower than market private rental
help with childcare costs-I know this as used to be an employer.
tax credits
free school dinners, dental/prescriptions-schoopl dinners here £40 per child per month!
income support

I was discusing this on an online mums group and we reckon at end of day

2parent family-1 working on 12k a year in council house probably once add all the extra income they get same amount net as the couple on 50k as probkem with benefits is it never counts the otherbenefits as income so when you see daily mail headlines family raking in 60k a year and saying its not enough its everything added up .

I often joke i be better off as single parent. as we rent so thats my rent paid, little or no council tax, child benefit. full entitlement to tax credits.

As for clubs -my 3year old does ballet she loves it. £3.50 per session so one of cheaper clubs.

I doubt she be next darcey bussel but unless kids start young with somethings they can never realise a career in these areas arts/music ect.

Its actually something me and hubby feel strongly about.

What do we want for our kids.

good role models- used to think as kids those who worked hard get nice things soon realised the unfairness of the world and huge diffrences in income at uni.

A warm safe room over their heads, for them to have healthy diet, suitable clothes, looks smart .

A broad education and this includes hobbies and extra curricular.

Only have eldest in school but her school did 2hours pe a week-quite a few overweight kids in her class.Most of parents seem to drive even short distance.

They do no sports or after school clubs.
no music instruments until year 5 and then parent pays.

My dd does gym and cheerleading so extra 2hours physical actvity a week.Rainbows is cheap and helps dd make freinds an feel close to her community.

ours get less at birthdays and xmas than most of their freinds get as we prioritersie clubs, 1holiday a year and few day trips.

Would feel pretty sad if they couldent do those things as why punish our kids for crap economy, when their father works 50+hours a week, weekends even their birthday.sometimes feel like a single parent.

i do fear for the future min e still young hoping economy improves by then but

unis so expensive
secondrys so competative.
learning to drive -huge costs
at this rate with housing unless they get very good job they could be living with mum and dad even as adults.
Even when they finsih education-so few jobs out their average school leavers just very affordable pay as lower min wage.

Right now dont know what they will want to do with their lives.
But do want to support them, give them opportunities that myself growing up in single parent family with prepayment meter never had.

duchesse Sun 28-Oct-12 09:18:27

mumzy, CB cannot legally be claimed for children who are not resident in the UK nor by a non-resident parent. If a child spends more than 3 months abroad or no longer lives with the parent claiming the CB, then you are supposed to inform the authorities.

Xenia if I had had my own way growing up, then I would have been a professional dancer like Flavia, Aliona etc. I would not earn much, but I would do what I love. I was a good ballet and modern dance pupil, passing my exams with distinctions, but my parents wanted me to be academic and made me give it up so I ended up doing mundane admin work with no chance to earn more. Not everyone is academic, not everyone feels the need to earn lots of money. Feminism is about choice.

it's massively biased against single parents. a working man earning over the threshold with a sahm partner or part timer has far less expenses than a single mother who has to pay out for childcare and i do believe single parents (particularly those whose children have no contact with their fathers ergo no shared care arrangements possible) should be exempt from this. the govt knows it is unfair but claims it's too complicated to create exemptions - utter bs essentially.

i also think it is a worry for women in abusive relationships. cb historically has been a life saver for some women as it was the one sure, paid to them, sum they had control over. i hear alcoholic men in aa meetings talking with wonder about how their wives managed to put food on the table during their drinking days - that would have been the child benefit being eeked out. no matter how much money those men earned they weren't responsibly handing over money to the family.

on the single parents thing this government seems to be targeting them at every point: good earners losing cb, middle earners losing tax credits, cuts to the rate of childcare elements, those who can't find work around school hours or any wraparound childcare being hit with cuts to their housing benefit as punishment etc. their contempt for single mothers, working or not, is blatant.

NAR4 Sun 28-Oct-12 09:30:29

We had a household income of just over £55,000 with my hubby earning £52,000 of it. He travels a long way to work and we live in a rural area, so I also need a car just to get my older children to the school bus stop (which is about 10 miles away). It's not fair that we loose child benefit and others with a much higher joint income do not. My husband was just offered a pay rise at work (for more hours) but we worked out that with our 5 children we wouldn't be any better off.

My husband has just taken the dramatic step of getting a new job which is closer to where we live and pays a lot less. It won't actually make us much worse off though due to travel costs and not loosing child benefit.

Now the government are starting talks about capping child benefit at 2 children, which will also have a massive impact on us.

Childcare is too expensive for me to work (ironically in childcare), so I go out to work in the evenings as my hubby gets in, which is naff, but we have no choice.

We don't drink, smoke, go for meals out, go to the cinema or other days out and never in our whole married life have we gone on holiday anywhere. We earn enough to makes ends meet, but def are not well off.

To top all this we are also paying back a massive overpayment of child tax credit that happened a few years back, even though we had always given correct and up to date information.

Sometimes this government just seems to penalise those that help themselves. What about the family down the road who get their house (bigger than ours) paid for by the council and taxis take their children to school, even though they have 2 cars and neither of them work. They both drink, smoke, go on holiday several times a year and have an aray of pets.

Bitter me!

visualarts Sun 28-Oct-12 09:31:55

how does this affect cases where one parent is non-resident - if non-res parent's income is above the threshold, is the cb 'deducted' via their tax return? I think this has been answered below as 'no' -non-res parent income is ignored?

NAR4 Sun 28-Oct-12 09:44:42

Xenia

Just to reply to you; I married my hubby before he went to uni, so couldn't possibly have known how much he earned. I also had my own business before having children myself, which eventually folded due to our crap economy.

Women's lib is about free choice and nobody should dictate that a mother has to put her children in childcare and go out to work. I personally feel mothers/fathers do a far better job for society by staying home with their children and raising them well.

oh look one of those mysterious families that gets zillions in benefit and has a massive house, 2 cars and their children taxi'd to school. that sounds likely eh? and massively relevant hmm

JackThePumpkinKing Sun 28-Oct-12 10:20:23

Fair enough Xenia - You've mentioned that someone has stalked you on here before, so I don't blame you.

Well, my maximum earning potention is x amount. I have a career and I don't want that to change, and in my field I can never top a certain amount. DP happens to be in a field where the maximum earning potential is double what mine is. It is what it is. NOthing sexist about it.

IsabelleRinging Sun 28-Oct-12 10:50:17

Xenia, if, as you suggest, all women seek out careers which pay highly, and put their children into payed daycare, who will provide that care? Where will the carers who are willing to look after our children at an affordable rate come from if every person is seeking out a highly paid job? Your arguments on this, and other threads are hypothetical only.

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 10:51:49

The bottom line on CB is that it is very hard times at the moment for lots of people and this Government thinks the rich (who are losing CB entirely like I am) should bear most of the pain as indeed we did at the start with the new 50%+ tax rates.

(I don't think I've been stalked but people do build up information about others and disclose it. Without doubt many women on here are with men who earn more hence women stay home and women never advance in society. Anyway that's a site issue except that ensuring housewives with richer husbands get no child benefit might encourage those women to go out there in whatever they love and earn more money - chain of dance schools for example for the dancer above like the lady who has set up rockchoirs and franchised them around the UK who I heard on R4 the other day.

Free choice if it is I will do as my mother did and clean and cook in return for being kept by a man is not really that often free choice. you think it's choice but it is sexist conditioning just like wives under the Taliban or in Saudi who do not work)

ladybird4 Sun 28-Oct-12 11:02:44

don't mean to cause offence but anyone earning 50K should not be entitled to any benefit! You are obviously living beyond your means! CATCH A GRIP!

scottishmummy Sun 28-Oct-12 11:13:49

completely agree 50K is comfortably off dont need cb,should be redistributed to needy
all this mc angst about losing cb,wel its a bit bad taste.dont need it but do like it
redistribute to those in need not the hunter wellies wearers who need to stop whining about this

AtiaoftheJulii Sun 28-Oct-12 11:21:50

Mandy - i don't know what the age is for letting older children go home and let themselves in, but I'm guessing it's 13 or 14? It's payable from 0-16.

There's no set age, but most secondary school kids I know do not have before or after school childcare, so 11-12 in practice. Mine are 10, 12, 14 & 16, and can look after each other :-)

And child benefit gets paid up to 18 if the child is in full-time education (which seeing as they have raised the age at which you can leave education will be an increasing amount of children I guess).

And you're wrong in setting out the child credits pay for childcare - have no idea what the threshold is for receipt of child credit but it's very low, would suggest small minority of families qualify.

I don't know, haven't asked people. I assumed that they asked the question about childcare costs for a reason, that it would make a difference to the amount received. Perhaps not. I certainly wasn't suggesting that it covered it all, and said that I thought more help was necessary.

50k is not necessarily well off. It depends where in the country you are. Cost of living is dependant on location. I know my nursery fees are less than they would be if I was still in London, but far more than if I lived in Scotland where I'm originally from. All this talk of people living beyond their means because they need their child benefit whilst on that wage is ridiculous.

Oh, and I don't earn anywhere near 50k.

scottishmummy Sun 28-Oct-12 11:45:57

5ok is well off and doesnt need a state top up
should be redistributed according to need
i find it a bit distasteful to read people on 50k protesting they need cb. no they dont need it or rely on cb, actually just like it.thats different

mirry2 Sun 28-Oct-12 11:56:25

Those who are raising the pension credit issue - as I understand it sometime in the next few years the state pension will be a fixed sum of about £150 paid to people regardless as to whether they have paid NI. The people who will lose out will be existing pensioners who will carry on receiving the current weekly sum (which is less).

mam29 Sun 28-Oct-12 11:57:16

if it helps on childcare when went back to work after 1st 2007 we could in theory as both workng fulltime claim up to £240 max childcare vouchers each saving £80 in tax per £240.

when stopped vouchers as dd started school and use nursery funding.

restarted them when dd 2 was 18months

it had changed.

the higher rate tax payers £40k + could get the vouchers but the savings had halved maybe £40 saving cant remember detail dident look too closly as at tme in old job dh was under 40k.

So 2010 lose childcare saving
2011 lose tax credits
2012 lose cb

its huge clobbering on people already paying higher rate tax on earnings over 40k.

we ok as below 50k but im currently looking at part tme job extra money. I dont own hunterssad I dont even drive-hubby does and most mums at school treat be like some underprivaliged pauper not driving.

no wonder uk kids most unhappy its a bleak no frills childhood here for sure.

I resent the fact middle earners not taking their fair share.

is the lmit down to 2 kids after the 50k change or instead?

a 2salary income on 45k each =9ok combined dont need but will still get.

A one income family on 50-60k probly still could do with it!

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 11:58:28

I think I might have pasted above what £50k is £38k a year net or £688 a week. if you are single parent on that your nursery place is about £200 a week. That leaves you £488. Your tube costs in London are about £8 a day (£32). You probably are buying a 1 bed flat costing about £180k in outer London. Your mortgage repayment is about £240 a week.

That leaves you £216 a week after your childcare and housing and travel to work.

Is that £50k gross wage for the single full time working mother - the net £216 very much more than the benefits claimant who has all rent paid and also has free prescription charges.

I just think non working single parents need to be aware £50k as a single parent full time working mother is £216 a week to spend on food, work clothes and all the rest and probably babysitting when you work late.

What is net benefits per week for single mother (ignoring housing benefit) with one child? Ignore child benefit and perhaps working tax credits too which I assuming our working mother does not get.

alemci Sun 28-Oct-12 12:01:38

50K is nothing in London Scottish mummy. We don't earn that much but we need the CB. Alot of it goes on transport costs to school.

Cost of living varies for different regions but it is expensive here and the housing costs so much more in the first place.

scottishmummy Sun 28-Oct-12 12:02:11

that a useful breakdown of figures

ByTheSea Sun 28-Oct-12 12:02:55

We will lose all CB and I am okay with that. That said, we are a two-income family, each earning close to the threshhold so there will be families with a slightly different split who will still get it.

scottishmummy Sun 28-Oct-12 12:03:09

so what do you suggest a regional variation in threshold
Higher in Ldn and SE?
50K in scotland is a significant wage

alemci Sun 28-Oct-12 12:13:04

possibly, but I think it will be too hard to do that.

I could imagine 50K going a long way in Scotland.

50K used to seem like alot in London but there is so much taxation, person will be in the higher rate, band petrol is expensive, heating and electricity. everything has gone up so much. House prices are ridiculous.

If you think about it, 2 people earning say 30K each won't pay as much tax either as they won't be hr tax payers.

I know this applies to everyone regardless of region but I think sometimes food costs may vary in different places.

my mum always comments how cheap it is when she goes to Lincolnshire compared to Northwest London.

I think the CB cut off should have been pitched so much higher say 100K then we wouldn't be having all this bad feeling and setting people against each other - divide and rule me thinks.

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 12:14:02

I just my figures through a benefits calculator (let us ignore council tax inc omparing the £50k single mother with a mortgage who works full time with 1 child a nursery and the benefits claimant single mother). the not working one gets £62 child tax credits and £71 income support and £11 council tax benefit- so £144. She also gets her rent paid and her prescription charges paid.
We are ignoring child benefit here.

So £50k working mother gets £216 after tax and work expenses and childcare a week and never done a days work in her life single mother gets £144 a week in my rough calculations. So the non workers thinking £50k mother has the life of rile are not actually that much worse off. Also I bet the working mother has a lot of extra costs, baby sitting, need to buy certain clothes to look okay in the office, probably sometimes buys her lunch out because packed lunches take time to make, need to pchip into work collections for leaving colelagues etc etc.

My thesis has always been that you can earn £40k - £50kin the UK and work very very hard nad yet have as little in net income as someone who is on benefits. My answer is aim as a woman to earn well over £100k and then things like loss of CB becomes irrelevant. Encourage your daughters to look at which careers are likely to pay severla hundred thousand rather than pin money and then life can be al ot easier particularly if you put a lot ofhard work in your teens into getting relaly good A level results and a good degree.

scottishmummy Sun 28-Oct-12 12:15:27

it is interesting seeing the figures
mmm so perhaps regional variation,would be v unpopular though

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 12:19:40

Many o0f the English cannot wait to divest ourselves of Scotland (more in England favour the Scots going than in Scotland where only 1 in 3 does amusingly). If Scotland does go it can set its own rates.

I very much doubt a full time nursery place in London and a mortgage of £160k which is what our mythical 50ker single mother is paying here would be too different from Scotland. I have put our mythical mother in very much outer London, possibly Luton even although then her transport costs would be even higher and put her in a one bed flat with her baby not a house or a 2 bed flat and put her in outer London where most of us slum it. I gave her one child so she had one full time nursery place not 2 or 3.

MordionAgenos Sun 28-Oct-12 12:30:59

There has to be a more realistic solution to the inequitable way in which cuts are being targeted towards women rather than men than just suggesting that every female should aim to earn >£100k though. There really aren't that many of us earning that sort of money of either gender. Even if every single man earning that level or higher was replaced by a woman that would still only be a tiny percentage of the existing female workforce let alone the existing female working age population. It's also worth bearing in mind that those females earning the most money are those who are in the most risky sector - the arts. A sector which has a huge number of low or inconsistent earners. And which is typically (though not exclusively) chosen for reasons other than potential monetary rewards.

scottishmummy Sun 28-Oct-12 12:34:12

shot of the scots dont make me laugh.we are pivotal in running the country
dont hold breath for independence,
stats not good for 1st minister

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 12:39:28

For the Tories the CB changes have not exactly been a triumph. I can obviously afford not to get CB any more even as a single parent but it still feels a bit unfair because it was the one benefit ever that I have had. I never even got maternity pay and I've never had a tax credit or help with childcare. it just made think - wow the state recognises the efforts I've put in over nearly 28 years into children who now 2 are in their 20s are paying a lot of tax. I dont' know how much tax they pay as someone asked above but a reasonable amount if they earn £44k to £65k or whatever the girls earn in their mid 20s. So I have produced productive tax payers.

Anyway in general I am in favour or abolition of all these distortions and tax reliefs and benefits for the working people so that the free market can prevail. At present benefits prop up low wages and our poor £50k full time working mother with her £216 a week after her working and modest housing costs is not too much better off than the mother on benefits.

(I am sure Scotland will remain part of the union and I'd better not deflect the thread)

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 12:40:21

I suppose the mythical working mother above has the chance to earn more, that's the thing. I dfon't expect mky daughters to earn what they do for the next 40 years. I expect them to get promotion (if they choose). So you might feel hard done by when those not in work get abou the same but over time you probably do do better overall.

xenia it's income support of say £65 and just over £50 ctc plus cb - so £135ish. considerably less i think you'll agree.

i agree 50k is plenty for a couple who chose to have only one person working and avoid childcare costs through a sahp. but for a single working mother of pre school age children her costs are mammoth. you don't generally earn 50k plus by working cosy 9-5's and term times - you need a lot of expensive childcare and you are probably doing a lot of traveling which costs a lot also.

i do think people live in cuckoo land to come on here moaning about being poor as a higher rate taxpayer.

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 12:53:21

Yes, the benefits calculated had it at £144 but your £135 may not be too out of line ) think it had £71 as child tax credit and £11 for council tax benefit. Our working mother would have to pay her council tax.

The weekly child nursery place of £200 in my calculation above is the biggest cost. however say my daugthers had babies now without being with a man on their salaries which are about this kind of level it would still pay them to work as soon the child is at school and in the jobs they are in some people earn £1m to £2m a year so having 5 very hard years of your child care costing a lot and you not drawing much more than a benefits claimant if that means in 8 years' time you are doing very well particularly once childcare costs disappear it is worth the sacrifice. It i s like that toddler deferral exe;rcise psychologists do - two sweets later or one now. If you can think difficult now but the benefits will pay off later then it tends to benefit women to take the working choice rather than benefits chocie as the longer you are out of work the harder it is to get back into ti. Or you could follow the route of many a woman and simply life of male earnigns for life by being p4retty and slim enough to attract rich men . We have that option too which many men don't have. We therefore have two routes to get on and men tend just to have one. In that sense we are luckier than men.

i get just over £50 ctc for one child.

work does pay - it's all lies about it not doing so and just another excuse to cut benefits and divide and rule making workers resent non workers.

i'm about to cross over from disability benefits and ctc etc to working. i will only be working part time and yes i will lose HB, council tax, free school meals, incapacity benefit, free prescriptions etc but i WILL be financially better off. not by tons admittedly, but better off and with a chance of improving that over time.

people who are saying work doesn't pay are wrong. also people who think people on benefits get nearly as much as them are wrong. for the last few years even on disability benefits and factoring in all benefits and concessions i've lived on aprox. 13k a year. i'm good with money and do not drive a car etc so we managed fine but the idea that we'd have been rolling in money and as well off as a working 2 parent family is rubbish.

(obviously rent, council tax and everything had to come out of that 13k and i'm in middle england so hardly cheap iyswim)

mumzy Sun 28-Oct-12 13:22:16

Being in London does make a difference. I work for NHS and get £5000 as London weighting which pushes me just over the £50000 threshold so I lose some of CB but colleagues on the same grade outside of London and don't have the expense of living in London get to keep all their CB. So I lose some of my the benefit of the LW as I'll lose £1500 in CB for my 3 dc.

Mandy21 Sun 28-Oct-12 13:22:48

Xenia there is little point in putting figures in a post like that trying to compare a typical single working parent, as compared to someone on benefits. You have made a whole truckload of assumptions about what her childcare costs will be, what price property she'll live in - its not as clear cut as that.

And whilst I'm all for equality - you can't say that there is no distinction between men and women. Women are the ones who have children, and even if they take a short amount of maternity leave, their career is disrupted. And its not just a question of getting women to change their opinions of what they should be doing in their lives (in your view we should all be aiming for the highest paid careers possible!) you still have to change the opinion of (predominantly male) employers who are still less likely to hire women in their 20s for fear they'll go off on maternity leave.

If you decided at the age of 16 what you were going to do in your life, based on what your earning potential would be, knowing that it would fit in with a family and that it would be recession-proof, you were obviously well informed. Not everyone was lucky enough to be in that position.

sher66 Sun 28-Oct-12 13:26:57

Well I said many years ago that tv stars pop stars etc and anyone over a certain amount should not be entitled to child benefit, its always the same story really the working class work to get what they have and some single parents cant help being a single parent due to violence abuse etc... the society is being divided what happened to great Britain in most shops I go I feel I am in Poland why should they get what us british cant even have, I believe that all youngsters should be made like the old days to go into the army for 2 years hence less criminal damage and idle hands and drugs being dispersed in schools and maybe send back all those of not a british nationality, lets help our own and help our children instead of them going without some parents rely on this monies and the next step will be only 2 children per household, it really makes me sad

'can't help being a single parent' <<you make it sound like being a monster. can't help it? you assume they should help it? bleurgh

alemci Sun 28-Oct-12 13:33:20

i think even graduates won't necessarily earn fantastic salaries just get saddled with debt. My dd is doing Physio Therapy. She has tried hard and worked diligently at school along with loads of other kids. She will come out with some sort of qualifcation and earning potential.

but it is such a joke as housing costs are so ridiculous.

In the good old days someone who was a dustman could probably buy a small terrace on one salary or get a house of the council.

sorry i know it is a bit stereotypical but i am sure you get my drift.

LongStory Sun 28-Oct-12 16:26:54

I think we are confusing the issues here. There may be rights or wrongs about a certain threshold above which people don't get a benefit. The point of how it's now designed is that there's very very little incentive to work more hours / harder, that push you above £50k, if you have more than one child. I am not sure that this does much good for the economy or for families. It certainly won't save money. We'll just see a cluster of incomes around the 45-50k mark.

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 16:31:53

I think it depends on your long term propsects. The single mother on £50k who has £216 a week after childcare and mortgage and work costs might well be able to push herself up to £60k or £70k in the next few years if she works hard so it is worth her making the effort just as swallowed above will, we hope, in the example above.

I suspect few people will refuse a pay rise although some may ask for pension instead and a few may have man going part time an dhis housewife getting a job to use both single person allowances and so that they keep child benefit - that would probably benefit women as they would be getting bcak to work.

Viviennemary Sun 28-Oct-12 17:12:58

I can see a problem with people wanting to keep their income just under the threshold. But I'm sure I read the benefit will be taken off on a sliding scale up to £60,000 a year. And two people working do have twice the expenses of commuting and other expenses related to working. It does seem to cost quite a lot of money to actually work.

i don't think it will stop people taking promotions or pay rises - to do so would be very short sighted. ok with the first rise you may lose a little if it puts you only just above the threshold but the next payrise would see you in profit again. you don't take a payrise/promotion thinking it is the last bit of progress you're going to see in your career unless you're about to retire or something in which case cb is the least of your financial concerns.

the idea that there is no incentive to work is a nonsense - people seem to have crazy notions of how much benefits are and forget that year on year benefits depreciate in value as prices rocket and people make zero financial progress. you can't say well we're as bad off as someone on benefits because we're paying a crazily high mortgage so what's the point - that mortgage is an investment, you are making financial progress for the future that the person on benefits is not. you are also enhancing your earning potential year on year.

for people who've been long term on benefits it's not lack of incentive that gets them imo but fear and a lack of faith that they'll be able to cope with working or with making ends meet or whatever. it's a kind of institutionalisation that happens - you're poor but secure, the big stuff (rent, council tax) is taken care of behind the scenes and you cease to even think about it. you get used to living on a small amount and you get good at it. you can inhabit a very small world and range of people/activities/etc but be used to it and going beyond it is... sort of shell shockish. the benefits bashing of government and media doesn't help in the slightest, it makes people feel even more 'outside' and inadequate and... sort of primal in terms of feeling under attack and therefore a) digging your heels in and b) even more sure 'out there' is mean, horrible, un-copable, not for people like us etc. you won't starve them out with poverty - the more punitive and threatening you get the more they will burrow back away from taking part in society.

i guess the same might be true of being a sahm - maybe similar institutionalising factors and effects. all of this is a bit irrelevant if and when there are no jobs for people to go to anyway.

Mandy21 Sun 28-Oct-12 19:59:59

The discussion is wrong and Xenia making comments like the single mother might be able to push her earning capacity to £60 or £70k 'if she works hard' is just a dis-service to most hard working people. It's just not as simple as hard work always leading to increased income. I do accept that that might be your experience but for my particular work, its about the economy in general, whole sectors being in a position to offer pay increases etc. Everyone of course has to take responsibility for their own future but there has to be the opportunity. At the moment, irrespective of the level of effort people put in, it's just not there.

But that's all off point of the OP!

LongStory Sun 28-Oct-12 20:42:25

I wouldn't say no a promotion or a pay rise, but between 50k and 60k I will face a 78% marginal tax rate (40% paye, NI and 5 x CB lost in increments), ... so yes, for me it is a disincentive to increase my hours.

Xenia Sun 28-Oct-12 21:35:35

My mythical single mother is on £50k a year and has £216 a week after tax and her travel and one nursery place and is not tha tmuch better off than the benefits mother BUT she has the chance as swallowed says of bit by bit getting up from £50k. I did not suggest a single mother on £13k minimum wage could easily get up to £50k.

Savannahgirl Sun 28-Oct-12 23:39:25

It's very unfair that a family who actually have a higher net income than their neighbours, will be allowed to keep their CB, whilst the other, who after tax, have less net income will lose it.

We will lose ours because even though both DH & I both work, he earns over the threshold. Another family we know, have a higher net income than we do because both parents earn below the threshold, but more than DH & I combined and will keep theirs. How is that logical or fair?

It should have been based on total household income.

Savannahgirl Mon 29-Oct-12 00:13:15

Also, this discussion should have been had back in March when they announced the revised threshold in the budget and whilst there was time to lobby our MP's to vote totally against it. I wrote to my MP several times to express my views, but he said although he was voting against it, many more were voting for it. I think it's way too late to do anything about it as they passed the bill months ago angry

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 07:48:33

The bottom line is that there were good reasons for it to be a universal benefit, those reasons till exist today and so they shouldn't be changing the rules.

If they want to hit those with a 'high' income, they should find something that impacts all 40% taxpayers equally.

but I'm still confused how this fits with dropping the highest rate of tax by 5%?
(Which benefits the highest earners)

personally i'd have gone for making changes to future claimants. i would give a family allowance rather than 'child' allowance and make it reasonably generous - say £35pw (first child is about £20 currently) but then that woud be it - it woudn't increase as you had more children - there'd be no per child factor. i would have done the same with ctc/wtc - make the first level more generous as a family entitlement but not increase after that if you have more children.

that gives an acknowledgement of the extra financial burdens on parents but makes clear that is all you'll get and you choose whether to have a large family based on that knowledge. i'd would make it a 'from now on' thing so existing children who are already receiving cb continued to do so.

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 08:06:18

still not till...

Viviennemary Mon 29-Oct-12 12:51:33

I saw on the news that around 82% of people agree with this. And although it doesn't affect me I did at first think well is it fair re high household incomes still getting it. But I now agree. I mean does somebody on £50,000 a year need more money from the state. I suggest they don't. In times of hardship. They should raise the tax threshold to £15,000 and take a lot of lower paid people and part time people out of tax altogether. That would be sensible.

Viviennemary Mon 29-Oct-12 12:52:25

I meant dual higher income households still under the limit for the benefit. (As on £95,000 or so)

i guess you have to think of it in scale - if they're seeing fit to cut the childcare element of tax credit for someone on 12k a year then of course, in that context, it is appropriate to say people on 50k can afford a loss too.

but when you take the bigger context of banks that got us into this mess still making multi million pound profits then no of course it's not ok.

shinyblackgrape Mon 29-Oct-12 13:48:20

I saw on the news that around 82% of people agree with this

Yes - I saw this. I can only assume that the chancellor's poll was a hands up round the cabinet table with the lib dems were in the loo!

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 14:30:41

I'm sure that many people who aren't having their income reduced by this measure are in favour - after all the government has worked hard a dividing the country for exactly that reason.

The majority of those unaffected are thinking, phew! that cut didn't affect me so I'll support it.

it's probably because 82% of people polled could only dream of having 50k per anum.

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 14:49:46

swallowed Aside from those in a 2 income family, who earn £49k each - they don't have to dream of earning £50k they earn £98k but keep their CB!

So its not quite that black and white is it? But it's always good to meet someone who has bought in to the Governments divide and conquer approach!

At the end of the day, to someone earning £60k with 2 kids this equates to a pay cut of 4.5% - everyone is going to feel that with the exception of the super rich (you know, those that got a 5% tax reduction at the last budget).

So just because you may earn less, doesn't mean everyone who earns more than you can afford to have their income cut.

Don't forget there are an awful lot of professions within the public sector - doctors, solicitors, accountants, scientists etc, all probably HR and all already suffering long pay freezes, hiked pension contributions and then for those with children, they get slapped with a child benefit cut. People live to their means and losing income impacts everyone irrespective of their payband.

I think they should be looking at getting this money from across the HR population not just from those people with kids. what about raising the tax rate to 41% - that would have a higher yield than the CB cuts and affect all HR people equally rather than a small number.

Swallowed out of interest what austerity cuts have you personally suffered from and how much of your existing income did you lose?

lots of assumptions about what i think and understand there. i was speculating on why such a high percentage may have agreed with this and summarising that is because so many people on this country are living on such low incomes.

not saying it's easy for people to lose money but am saying it's understandable that people who live on a fraction of that might find it hard to sympathise with people earning 2 or 3 times as much as them crying poverty. that's not divide and rule but common sense. i know families where both parents work and they bring in less than 30k between them, pay a mortgage, raise 2 young children etc. i would not blame them if they didn't feel massively moved by the plight of a household on double their income losing a couple of grand a year.

i'm not sure if you've read the thread - i was pretty up front about my financial situation and how it is changing soon due to starting work. you would also see if you bothered reading that i've said i don't agree with this cut and stated what i would have done instead.

so your launch at me is odd.

Xenia Mon 29-Oct-12 17:00:58

Let us not go on about the 5% reduction. The 50% rate brought very little in and meant less tax to feed the poor. Labour did not have a 50% rate, not until its very last year when it was on the way out so it did not matter what its effects were. Labour had a 40% upper tax rate. We now have 50% (and higher if you add in 2% NI and loss of allowances) coming down to 45% plus NI etc next year. The rich are by far bearing the highest of all tax increases at the moment and they were first to bear the brunt too. We are not all in it together - instead the rich are bearing the burdens. Some of us work 50 weeks a year 6 or 7 days a week to support benefits claimants and we keep doing it week in week out (or I do anyway) and yes now as ever the rich are losing out - I lose all my child benefit as a single mother. I shall cope. I can always work harder. I have even had periods when 5 - 7am on Saturday where waking hours when the twins were little. I am sure the benefits claimants I support are very grateful.

Mandy21 Mon 29-Oct-12 19:11:57

But a HR earner already has other advantages which you seem to have forgotten Xenia, its not a question of you always having to bail out other people because you pay so much tax. Just take the childcare voucher / salary sacrifice scheme for instance - a HR couple could be sending their child to a nursery costing £500 per month - they both use their £250 worth of vouchers (or thereabouts) to pay for it. They save the £200 they'd have paid in tax - so they're really getting £500 worth of nursery care for £300 (and obviously the nursery still gets its £500 - so who is paying that £200 difference, Xenia??)

In comparison, the basic rate taxpayers also use their £500 allowance to pay for the £500 nursery, they'd have paid £100 in tax, so its costing them £400.

So the HR tax payer pays 60% of their childcare costs, the BR tax payer pays 80%.

Had they earned the £500, they'd have paid £200 in tax. They both "save" the tax on the vouchers - at 40% - so it costs them £300 - the government pays the nursery - the full £500. a HR earner doesn't pay tax (at 40%) on their childcare costs for the £240

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 20:13:30

swallowed apologies, I had skim read parts and clearly not well enough!

Please accept my unreserved apologies.

blush

Blue81 Mon 29-Oct-12 22:12:48

i know families where both parents work and they bring in less than 30k between them, pay a mortgage, raise 2 young children etc. i would not blame them if they didn't feel massively moved by the plight of a household on double their income losing a couple of grand a year.

Yes this is so true. I am a single parent and on around 15 k. I am sorry but I do fail to see why someone on 50k is pleading poverty.

That said I do think the way in which the Government is going about it is wrong.

Blue81 Mon 29-Oct-12 22:14:21

i know families where both parents work and they bring in less than 30k between them, pay a mortgage, raise 2 young children etc. i would not blame them if they didn't feel massively moved by the plight of a household on double their income losing a couple of grand a year.

Yes this is so true. I am a single parent and on around 15 k. I am sorry but I do fail to see why someone on 50k is pleading poverty.

That said I do think the way in which the Government is going about it is wrong.

I would love to be struggling on 50K!

A higher rate tax earner only gets £143 in child are vouchers tax free.

Also - I use childcare vouchers - it's still £243 that comes out of my salary! I don't know where you're getting this mythical £200 saving hmm I don't get any childcare for free - it just means the taxman doesn't get as much of my salary.

It works out as a £300 per £1000 saving on tax.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 30-Oct-12 08:18:35

You'd be hard pushed to get a mortgage on 30k joint income, unless you had a massive deposit/equity. Which isn't to say people don't, but rather to say that 50k is hardly untold riches.

All this is by the by though and playing straight into the government's hands.

i got a mortgage when i was on 19k starting out in a profession - i was lent 100% of just over 5 times my salary as a single woman.

obviously i wouldn't get that now the banks have stopped lending that way but very many people are paying mortgages they got into before the market crash and recession that they have managed to cling onto. tons of people will be on 30k household incomes or less and paying mortgages. i'm afraid it just shows more naivety on the part of high earners that they don't realise this.

apart from which very often rent is more expensive than a mortgage anyway - i certainly pay considerably more now that i am renting than i did on my mortgage.

ByTheWay1 Tue 30-Oct-12 08:36:35

Not sure where you live, but yes you can easily get a mortgage on £30k in some parts of the country - did you know, in some parts of the country you can actually buy a whole house for £120K, flats for less than £100k and bedsits for less than the wage needed for child benefits to be cut.....

In some parts of this country £60k is a fortune. You know the state pension provides you with a guaranteed £140 a week (plus council tax relief) - some people actually live on that....

Xenia Tue 30-Oct-12 08:46:49

Mandy, I am self employed and never had a childcare voucher in my life. We paid the cost of childcare out of taxed income always even when I was only 22 years old. Someone says those who are employed (many higher rate people are not so we get no sick pay pension paid holiday maternity pay etc) get £143 a week child care vouchers where employers provide them tax free. That does not pay for much child care. You are probably looking at over £20k + full time out of taxed income in London certainly for us when we had 3 children under 5 and we both worked full time 5+ days a week.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 30-Oct-12 09:36:27

ByTheWay1 It's that kind of sneering resentment and ill-placed envy that allows the government to shaft every single one of us.

I am not a higher rate taxpayer by the way - far from it. I just know that by taking away the universality of child benefit, the government are paving the way to make it a benefit only for the very poorest families. £60k is a decent income now - but it won't be in a few years and I can pretty much guarantee that if this government have their way the threshold will not change.

ByTheWay1 Tue 30-Oct-12 11:12:07

I am neither resentful nor envious - we may or may not lose CB, we are on the edge - sometimes DH earns over £50k, sometimes not.....

The government will do what it has been mandated to do by the electorate, or if they subsequently do something the majority of the electorate do not like, they will be removed from power at the next election...

This country needs to move away from welfare dependency, this is one of the "easy" benefits to cut as it is generally seen that people earning over £60k do not "need" it (as opposed to it making life a bit easier)... we are talking less than 10% of families in this country actually being affected (we may or may not be one of them).

No one ever wants to lose something they have come to rely on, people tend to spend to their income, so they could implement it differently, but I don't actually see every change as the government "shafting us" - merely trying to get us closer to balancing the books... what I DO hope it will do is GET PEOPLE VOTING next time.....

you're right bytheway - this is exactly what those who voted tory mandated the government to do. the sad fact is a lot of naive numpties thought the tories were about 'people like them' who 'do the right thing' ya da ya da ya da and thus voted for them only to find, quelle surprise, that they were small fry the tories didn't give a toss about. the 'us' is a very broad reaching category, the 'them' in this case is a minute few. the foolish aspirational 'middle classes' will hopefully realise the reality of where they stand next time they vote.

if you have to work to survive you are working class. the club the tories work for is not you.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 30-Oct-12 14:21:35

Far be it from me to defend Conservative voters, but scrapping universal child benefit was not in their manifesto. Besides, this government do not have much of a mandate at all imo.

And yes, I couldn't agree more about particular sectors of the middle class discovering that they are small fry. I just don't like some of the schadenfreude.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 30-Oct-12 14:25:58

(posted too soon)

I don't think this was an easy benefit to do away with tbh. The universality of child benefit was once upon a time valued by pretty much everyone - if anything because it was so blinking cheap to administer.

Considering the way this government are dismantling the NHS with such frightening ease however, it's not suprising they're getting away with this.

Tressy Tue 30-Oct-12 15:25:16

There are other people affected much harder since this coalition came in power, it's already happened, than wealthy families losing a relatively small benefit, that they can easily afford to lose. 60K is a massive income to me and lots of other people.

do the tory party really need a manifesto? is it not obvious by now?

they will:
-sell off public services, institutions and property for virtually nothing (and there will be no accounting for where the money raised went or what was invested in to replace what was sold)
-try to weaken employee rights, drive down pay, benefits and protection for workers
-create tax breaks and loopholes for the rich (as well as handing over forementioned public services, property etc to them on a silver platter)
-target single parents, the sick, disabled and elderly for sanctioning with increased poverty.

they've never made any secret of what they are or what they are about and they've always done the same things. why it would be a surprise to anyone i don't know.

Xenia Tue 30-Oct-12 19:05:08

£50k is £216 a week after tax and childcare and mortgage for a single mother. The non working poor are subsidised so that their rent is paid and of course they have no childcare cost and no travel cost to work and someone on state benefits is not too much worse off than the single mother on £50k. I don't think the poor realise.

Blue81 Tue 30-Oct-12 19:14:22

xenia No I didn't realise. That is pretty shocking actually. However a single mother on benefits with two children has roughly £155 a week and most have to top up on housing as councils will only pay a certain amount, (not enough for a decent 2 bed terrace in my area) so are still at least £100 a week better off which is a big difference when every penny counts.

I think you have changed my mind on this one, if there is to be a limit on income it needs to be implemented fairly, the threshold higher and tbh like many have said, it is going to cost more to implement than what is paid out so why bother in the first place. The Government needs to do a U turn and fast!

Blue81 Tue 30-Oct-12 19:15:44

Sorry read that as £260 a week in my befuddled state blush

Xenia Tue 30-Oct-12 20:58:07

I did rough calculations the other day, £50ker gets 35 700 net after tax. Benefits c.aimants think she keeps the £50k. INstead she pays £14,300 tax and NI.

Then she pays a mortgage say 90% loan on £150k outer London flat and then childcare one nursery place for one chilkd fulll time and then her transport into London to work.

That leaves her £216 a week for food clothes etc and her council tax and her work clothes.

I agree the benefits claimant is a bit worse off but she doesn't have prescription charges to pay and gets council tax benefit. I had the benefits claimant on £170 net including council tax benefit child tax credit (and of course all her housing paid for - although she may have to top that up - if she feels she is entitled to rent without sharing with others etc).

My piont was the £50k full time working single mother does not end up with much more than the one who c hooses never to do a day's work in her life EXCEPT our woman on £50k might in due course earn even more ands econdly once her child is at school she has no child care costs or not as many so she will certainly be better of then.

I just want people to know that your £50k mother does not really have that much more net income than one on benefits.

Blue81 Tue 30-Oct-12 21:14:25

Yes I do see but at least the house she lives in will one day be hers and she has the satisfaction of knowing she is a good role model for her children.

Consider me a convert on this topic.

sparkyfi Tue 30-Oct-12 23:04:43

I have 4 children and as a result we have to work extremely hard to keep our heads above the water. My husband spent 5 years travelling every week for work in Europe while I handled all the kids and worked in a home working job at night. It was tough. He has finally landed a job at home. He earns well.

He earns well because of the sacrifices we have made. We have to live away from family help - no help with childcare means to earn extra money we have to work back to back - we never see each other. He works very long hours and has a very long commute with high fuel costs. He travels for work leaving me at home juggling my work and the kids. We will not even get maintenance grants for my clever eldest child at university next year - we will struggle to help him - he worked very hard and is predicted 2 A*s and 2 As - we've even considered if he should go at all.

For all this effort and work we might also lose child benefit. We would be better off not trying and claiming everything.

The cut in benefit only takes into account EARNING power - it says nothing about whether you have your mortgage paid off or money in the bank from inheritance. Some parents may be able to work in a 9 to 5 job earning less than my husband and get child benefit even if they have thousands in the bank.

The hardest times to cope with children are when they are babies. If child benefit is to be cut do it AFTER THE CHILDREN ARE 5 YEARS OLD. Women have many more options to go out to work then as childcare is not as crippling and we are not so vulnerable.

trust me a single mum on benefits does not have £170pw in her pocket after rent and council tax. i've been that mum. with her tax credit, child benefit and income support she'll have more like £125. she also will not have the investment of paying off a mortgage that will see her owning her home outright or selling it and having a large sum of capital in her old age.

and of course there is a huge difference between £125 and £216pw - look at that as a percentage ffs. one barely covers food, nappies, electric and gas and water and that''s your lot. to be honest thinking £90 a week difference is 'about the same' says a lot about how much money you have. £90 a week more is a fortune when you're living on the poverty line.

i'd also dispute the £216 figure. most single working mums are not living in london and buying £175k flats. i'm only an hour away from london and you can buy a 4 bed house for that sum.

however i'm in complete agreement that the single mother shouldn't lose her child benefit.

we're also completely ignoring maintenance here. the 50k earner is receiving maintenance likely from someone around the same or higher income level than her. the benefit claimant is receiving from someone on low pay or benefits in likelihood and that will massively increase the gap once again.

newpup Wed 31-Oct-12 08:27:07

We will lose ours. In principle this is fair, we do not need it and the benefit system is not set up for households like ours. I am a sahm but am retraining for a different career now my DDs are older. I will never go back to work full time though and my DH works hard so we can have a great lifestyle, I do not have to work at all. It is fair that we lose the child benefit, don't get me wrong it was a handy top up and I use it as petrol money but that is not what it should be for.

It is very unfair that duel income families earning over the 50K between them can still claim child benefit. That makes it a bit of a bitter pill and not very fair at all! I assume that the admin involved to make it fairer would cost more than it is worth to make it fair!

carpetsw33per Wed 31-Oct-12 16:59:50

As far as I can see, I'm in the position of losing my right to be my children's primary carer, and I'm really concerned. Where can I ask for help?

My husband and I are getting divorced and we have 50% residency. Therefore the person with Child Benefit (me) is considered to be the 'resident parent'.

HOWEVER, I want to move in with my new partner. He is a higher-rate tax payer. What do I do? If I STOP claiming Child Benefit, am I still the resident parent? What is to stop my ex-husband claiming the Child Benefit then, and declaring himself to be the Resident Parent, and then claiming 15% of my income?

If I KEEP claiming it, my new partner will have it deducted from his earnings! How is that right?

What can I do? I'm really worried! sad

Mandy21 Wed 31-Oct-12 17:36:21

I didn't realise the amount that HR earners were allowed to claim was £143 - this is a change apparently from April 2011 - before then everyone was allowed to claim the same amount of vouchers. That was obviously advantageous for HR earners - saving more of their childcare costs than BR payers - hence why the government cut the amount HR earners could have in vouchers to even things out.

So its not a case Xenia that HR earners always pay more / end up supporting the rest of society, quite the opposite in this case until April 2011!!

Piemistress Wed 31-Oct-12 17:44:36

Is it £50k before or after tax?

ByTheWay1 Wed 31-Oct-12 18:44:10

It is £50k before tax but net of deductibles - like pension etc - so it is £50k of TAXABLE income.

Xenia Wed 31-Oct-12 18:55:00

Many many workers are not eligible for any kind of childcare voucher or help. You have to be an employee. Many of us are self employed.

(Going back to my example yes the single mother may own her £170k or £150k place out right but only if she has a repayment mortgage and only if it does not reduce in value - she also risks owing more than she borrowed; The benefits calculator I used got the single mother of one on £170 a week. My single mother on £50k a year has £216 before food and work clothes and other things you need to pay to work, probably some lunches out. I just don't want benefits claimants to think these single mothers are living a wild life when their net income is not too much more than the cliamant and yet they are probably commuting 2 hours a day into Central London and working long days; don't assume she gets maintenance. iIam a single mother of 5 and get none. )

Piemistress Wed 31-Oct-12 18:55:08

Thank you! Do you know if childcare vouchers are considered a deductable?

ByTheWay1 Wed 31-Oct-12 19:17:57

I don't knowif they are deductibles as I haven't needed them, but I would think they would be since they are a salary sacrifice scheme - you give up the amount before you pay tax or NI.....

shinyblackgrape Wed 31-Oct-12 20:45:22

Agreed by - you get the vouchers in return for an agreed reduction to your gross salary. That's why upping pension contribs ( if also done by way of sal sac) and taking up as many vouchers as possible will be able to be used by some employees to reduce their gross salary down to hopefully below the 50k level either pre or post the other deductibles

Mandy21 Wed 31-Oct-12 21:33:26

Sorry Xenia, I hadn't realised that all single mothers live in Central London!!!! Seriously?????!!! With the greatest respect Xenia, you're not really representative of lone parents / single mother are you, earning a 6 figure salary.

Xenia Wed 31-Oct-12 21:42:44

I can't afford to live in Central London.

Avenue57 Thu 01-Nov-12 11:24:13

@boggler - I could have written your post word for word - that's exactly what I was going to say!

LIVID

Chaigley Fri 02-Nov-12 11:50:24

These child benefit change are potentially illegal - see recent Daily Telegraph article: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/9641766/Child-benefit-cuts-may-be-illegal.html

Shocking how the 50p top rate of tax for rich people was reduced but now they're removng middle income earners child benefit. The Minister in charge, David Gauke, today says people should stop moaning and live with it! www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2226622/Child-benefit-protesters-fiscal-nimbys-says-Tory-minister-demands-people-live-means.html

Tressy Fri 02-Nov-12 12:18:14

They said trebling student fees may have been illegal, remember Scottish and Welsh students don't pay them, and there were legal challenges but, they got away with that one and they will this one.

Declutterbug Fri 02-Nov-12 13:14:55

Nick Clegg:

“I perfectly understand why people who don’t feel wealthy – who may not feel wealthy at all given all the costs they face today – don’t like this change,” he said.

“But I will ask them just to reflect for a minute that there are many, many others, the vast majority of people in this country who are on much lower incomes than them, who are also having to make sacrifices.”

Fair enough Mr Clegg, but why are the Govt not asking households with equivalent incomes who do not have children to make equivalent scarifices? We are going to see a 9 percent fall in our take home income from Jan. Childless couples or singles with the same income lose nothing.

Declutterbug Fri 02-Nov-12 13:18:06

PS Mr Clegg if you're reading this, I voted Lib Dem and will never ever vote Lib Dem again. Pairing up with the tories, tuition fees and now supporting this sort of badly implemented policy. Your party's done a fantastic job of committing suicide, eh?!

GrendelsMum Fri 02-Nov-12 14:02:54

Declutterbug - are you suggesting that people with no children should have a tax rise of 9% ? I guess that would be quite an encouragement to have kids! Or is the suggestion that everyone in the country should have a tax rise of 9% and that people should then receive a cash payment per child?

Viviennemary Fri 02-Nov-12 15:03:15

Not quite seing the 'Childless couples or singles with the same income losing nothing'. That's because they are not receiving handouts from the state. I was a bit sympathetic to this cut at first but now I am totally in favour. Especially when anyone earning £9,000 or so per year pays tax. To fund somebody earning £50,000 and above to have children. How on earth can this be in any way fair.

Declutterbug Fri 02-Nov-12 15:06:08

No Grendel, just suggesting if the driver is cuts then a small percentage income tax increase is fairer than cuts only affecting families. As it is the govt have just cut the top rate of tax hmm

Vivienne your hypothetical situation is nonsense. Someone on 9k is not likely to be a net contributor.

Viviennemary Fri 02-Nov-12 15:08:25

If they pay tax then they are a contributor. Surely.

Declutterbug Fri 02-Nov-12 15:44:11

To find out if someone's a net contributor or not you need to work out how much tax they pay and then deduct from it the benefits etc they receive from the state. A positive number means they are a contributor (pay more in tax than they get back), a negative is the opposite. Fairly simple to understand smile

euwa Fri 02-Nov-12 16:08:35

Totally unfair. We have friends who earn loads more than us on a combined salary but individually earn within the limit so will not be affected and are also able to have grandparents close by to help out. We haven't had a night out in years as it would cost too much but it was our choice to go where the work was and when we still couldn't get a job near family it was our choice to start one of our own and cope. We keep being penialised because we manage to do without if necessary and live within our means. But when the government keep taking away what we have it's like again being told we have to ignore the original contract and accept the new one with fewer rewards hence everything keeps rising except the income which keeps shrinking. The government seem intent in causing yet more worry and friction amongst the people. We all know people who have a lovely home and car and go on holidays without earning a penny. Being on benefits lowers peoples self esteem - when are they gong to realise? Going out to a rubbish job and working long hours where they can sack you at any time does very little for a persons well-being either. Totally unfair to always be taking money from those work so hard and be penealised for doing so. You try to convince your kids that they really need to get a good education so they can hopefully get a good job while trying to shield them from reality in the hope it will change by the time they are allowed to leave school and try and find work. Really makes you want to give up... might as well get a divorce.

nope we don't all know people like that. i don't know anyone who has a lovely home, car and goes on holiday without earning a penny. well there is the queen i guess.

stop the lies - it is irresponsible and ridiculous.

might as well get a divorce? lol because you got married for CB? ffs. i should try getting a job first.

JakeBullet Fri 02-Nov-12 16:32:51

I read an article in the Mail today (I know, I know) about a woman bemoaning the loss of her CB. She and her husband being home over 7k a month and she refers to the CB as "a measly amount" but feels she is entitled to it. Would just love to hear her views on a single mother with three children in a one bedroom flat asking for a house move....no doubt she would refer to her as "entitled" too.

They never have any money left at the end of the month (admittedly they DO have two children in private school) and I was ldt wondering g how she would cope on MY income per month where my CB makes a real difference to us.

Xenia Fri 02-Nov-12 16:54:33

So they are saying if Jane in the office is UK resident for tax she gets CB and then has it clawed back on her tax return as I will but Marie from France in the same office who gets UK child benefit as she lives here with her child keeps it all as French tax authorities do not take it back from her and that that difference is discriminatory?

Viviennemary Fri 02-Nov-12 17:19:01

So would you be taking people's health care into net contributer calculations. And children's education and so on. From a simplistic viewpoint I cannot see why somebody should pay tax on a very low income to supplement people on £50,000 plus per year. I think it's a good decision.

BoffinMum Sat 03-Nov-12 09:27:35

Forget arguments about whether something is 'fair' or not. The reason this benefit still exists is because successive governments have argued getting rid of CB would be the first step towards dismantling the entire welfare state in all its glory. This is because unless all people, wealthy and impoverished, receive something out of the welfare state then it will not be universally supported and it will wither and die, and with it certain groups of citizens (as in the US, where infant mortality rates are rising, amongst other things).

Instead of tackling the Government on this basis, they have effectively managed to divide and rule us with countless people both resenting higher paid workers and arguing they need the money for various things.

The devil is not in the detail in this case. This is not about individual families, it's about whether we want to be an inclusive European-type country or whether we want a hard nosed marketised model like the US, where the individual counts for very little.

I for one do not want a US type model and will fight pretty much to the death to avoid this happening on my doorstep.

Choose the right path and write to your MP with these arguments unless you want to have sleepless nights in the future.

Xenia Sat 03-Nov-12 09:36:04

Yes, I feel less included now that the one benefit I ever got is going.

However I feel very included in the NHS and in fact most people use it in the UK and often its care is better than private so we still buy into it. When the better off do not use a state provided system it does worse or so the argument goes.

However I don't really mind as I am an individualist free market libertarian who thinks we should all have a lot more personal responsibility and a lot fewer assumptions that the state will provide and I expect I as a single mother can manage without the child benefit. I have never however felt it was so spare I could save it.

BoffinMum Sat 03-Nov-12 09:41:09

I'm in a similar position in that a lot of the services we have used as a family are private, but when it comes to things like occupational therapy for disabled children, there are no private services and you're always glad the NHS is there. If that goes there will come a point where a lot of higher earners will start resenting shelling out, I think.

Xenia Sat 03-Nov-12 10:03:22

That is the psychological issue and the same with high tax rates - we got up to 99% taxes in the 1970s as very top rate and even my father working for the NHS paid 65% top rate of tax with 15% on top of that on savings interest. When that happens and even our upper rates of tax inthe UK are 4th highest in Europe without the very cheap childcare the high tax other states tend to provide, you lose your feeling of being part of it all. It then becomes worthwhile legally to reduce tax, put savings in a spouse's name or move abroad or use all lawful tax breaks. If instead you feel the rates and system are about fair you just pay up and get on with life. We are over the tipping point now and the sad thing for the poor is when the rich feel like this there is much less for the poor.

When tax rates came down to 40% under Nigel Lawson the tax take went up even if the poor resented the lowering of rates for the rich.

euwa Sat 03-Nov-12 11:01:57

I know I lost my argument at the end swallowedfly it is just the sheer frustration of working out what you can afford and how much you need to keep spare because every year things rise and income gets less in comparison. I may not be able to articulate myself properly because every penny counts and when we calculate CB in our income it does make a difference to what the two dc we have get each month. I don't expect the state to fund our children but when they take away what they have it hurts - as I said every penny counts and it's not just CB that is being taken away but that a totally different story. Unfortunately in our area I can hardly walk to the shops which ever route I take without passing at least 3 homes where I know for sure that they are surviving on benefits and have not worked for at least 10 years. Just another fact that makes you think why do I bother - but I know why I bother and why we insist that our dc do their very best to improve their lot.

BoffinMum Sat 03-Nov-12 11:49:01

I think hand wringing is what the Government wants us to do, whereas frankly we should be outside Downing Street with pitchforks refusing to let this go through, as an hommage to Barbara Castle.

losingtrust Sat 03-Nov-12 13:44:56

I am a single parent. Get nothing from ex as he made himself voluntarily unemployed and am challenging this on grounds of indirect sec discrimination as 92 per cent of lone parents are female. I may or may not lose depending upon bonus that will take me over the threshold but I receive no other benefits and have a lower income than two parents averaging 28k each and pay more tax than the combined. It would pay me to go part-time and top up with tax credits but then I will be criticized for being a single mother scroungers. The system of one income only and the simple way to help single parents is that those who can prove through a single person council tax subsidy should keep the child benefit up to 98k. No means testing required. Single parents income will always be lower as they only have one personal allowance and childcare costs.

redtabby21 Sat 03-Nov-12 13:51:33

The system at the moment is fair except for one thing. Parents who have twins or multiple births do not get the same amount as the first child. Therefore I had twins as my daughter came out first she was entitled to the full amount, 2 minutes later my son was born and he gets a lesser amount as he is classed as the second child. It is an impossibility for the surgeon to pull out two babies at once from your womb. Unfortunately no one ever addresses this when talking about child benefit legislation.

losingtrust Sat 03-Nov-12 14:15:35

Thanks Xenia for pointing out that a single woman on 50k is not earning much more than someone on benefits. It is true. I wonder why I do it sometimes . My ex told me just to give up my job so that he did not feel bad about giving up his but what a role model for our kids if I did the same and yes my house will be mine but not until after I retire and assuming I don't lose my job. I also miss out on attending school events and having any time to myself but for me if we all did the same where would the country be then and the tax I am paying keeps everything going.

Mandy21 Sat 03-Nov-12 14:21:57

Redtabby - I also have twins - but I don't understand why there should be any special treatment as far as CB goes just because we had two babies very close together, rather than a couple of years apart?

clam Sat 03-Nov-12 14:26:32

redtabby it's about number of children, not discriminating against your ds who happened to be born after your dd.
If you have one child, you get x amount. All subsequent children, regardless of when they are born, qualify for y amount.
Are you saying that with twins you should get double the higher sum? hmm

losingtrust Sat 03-Nov-12 14:39:21

I have been thinking about the lady with three kids who has three kids and earns a family income of 100k. She has been considered greedy but taking a different view - if those three kids went on to earn the same and a child's potentially earnings have been shown to be based on father's income their earnings and tax payable would massively dwarf the previous child benefit and really help to drive the economy. Just another way of looking at it but the more children that woman has theoretically the more the country would benefit in the longer term.

Xenia Sat 03-Nov-12 21:01:56

Yes, as I've said my mid 20s daughters who never used a state school place ever pay loads of tax already.

However we don't need more children. There are a large number of birthds of women from Pakistan and Nigeria in the UK at present and we have had lots of young hard working immigrants so we seem to have solved the problem of not enough babies and we are a pretty crowded land so we probably do not want to encourage loads of babies to be born. We have been in the middle of ababy boom with a shortage of state primary school places.

As I and losingt says a single mother sole supporting on £50k has not that much more money if she is paying for a nursery place (even less if more than 1 - we had 3 children under 5 at one time and both worked full time and then had twins) than a woman on benefits. The reason I would say carry on working is that benefits might disappear if we cannot afford them or reduce, secondly in terms of status it is generally better to work, thirdly it is a good example to chidlren, fourthly and perhaps most importantly if you are in work you can get more work and promotions and remember when peopleare my age (50) when children start to disappear you have no childcare so all that childcare cost disappears, in fact you have young helpers at home rather than babies, and you have 20 years to work and can earn a lot whereas single mother who has never had a job has 20 years in poverty. Worth working for lots of reasons.

I also hope IDS in Government is really trying hard to make work pay - that is our trend. We are not on a trend with either Labour or the Tories to make benefits better and make work not pay. Complete opposite.

sparkyfi Sun 04-Nov-12 00:11:17

How can everyone say that £50,000 is a lot of money to bring up a family. The big secret is that lower paid families are topped up quite a bit. According to a benefits calculator (turn2us) and using my own family (4 kids) as an example lets see - who is better off?

Husband earning £50,000 full time, Wife earns 8,000 part time (>16hrs at present) Childcare £140 a week. After tax and national insurance they get £7953.55 and £35782.05. TOTAL about £43,000. They get £0 in tax credits - plus £0 child benefit. TOTAL: 0. OVERALL TOTAL about £43,000. Grant child at uni next year: ZERO.: UNTAXED grant.

Husband earning £20,000 full time, Wife earns 8,000 part time (>16hrs at present) Childcare £140 a week. After tax and national insurance they get £7953.55 and £16134.55. TOTAL about £24,000. They get £12,224.25 in tax credits -plus £3,154.64 child benefit. TOTAL about: £15,000. OVERALL TOTAL about £39,000. Grant for child at uni next year: £2,416 untaxed.

Surprising isn't it. Should mu husband work part time? Should I leave him? What a couple penalty!

Xenia Sun 04-Nov-12 07:09:42

And in my single mother on £50k paying for a full time nursery place she is not much better off than a single mother on benefits not working if neither has anything from the children's father (as I don't).

Thsi is the dilemma all welfare states have. If you support the unwaged or working part time/low waged to levels which are too high then work doesn't pay. If you reduce it hugely so perhaps they sleep in dormitories with food provided by voucher and make them do work fare or move to parts of the country with cheap housing or jobs people think that is too tough.

IAD in Government is trying to make full time work pay with the new universal benefit which is coming outb ut I will believe it when I see it. My only advice is that we did work hard and after childcare costs one of us for a loss for a while but with promotions it all got better. You have no chance of promotions on benefits so longer term people who work tend to do better and childcare disappears in due course and then you are even better off than the person on benefits.

(By the way £50k I think you keep some of child benefit. It is over £60k you lose it all)

no it isn't. it's the problem when you allow pay to fall behind the cost of living so dramatically and you therefore have to subsidise pay for people to be able to survive.

it's the problem when you allow a few at the top to take multimillion pound profits without distributing it down through society to higher pay for all.

and how on earth would someone working part time and earning 8k need £140 of childcare?

Xenia Sun 04-Nov-12 07:18:52

My take on that would be as soon as you intervene in a free market to prop up negotiated wages with a minimum wage and housing benefit and tax credits things all fall down (as we can see they have(). If you don't provide that market interference then instead wages go higher and find their own level and the whole nation does better. On this the right and left can agree. It is just the Labour and Tory parties in the middle with hardly a difference between them who are our only choice of candidates who have a different view.

rubbish. this is a point in capitalism where the books don't balance anymore because the top have squeezed and squeezed it into a meltdown. if people don't have enough money they can't spend what you want them to. instead of putting pay up they then squeezed by encouraging everyone to get into debt so they could make money on lending and on people spending the borrowed money. they squeezed that too far clearly and look at the results. now they can't lend it to spend and they won't hand down some of those profits as they are still greedily trying to squeeze out more. so they'll cut public services and sell off whatever is left to squeeze a bit more out.

it doesn't work. it is an inverted pyramid - it can't stand up.

but yeah, right it's those poor people at the bottom who've ruined everything hmm

Xenia Sun 04-Nov-12 08:42:11

We kept interest rates artificially high. We did not allow banks to fail. We intervened in the market with minimum wages and housing benefits and tax credits for those in work and we created a socialist system which rewards idleness.

If the state did not top up wages they would not find workers unless pay went up. Instead we have a system where a single mother working full time paying for child care for under 5s full time on £50k is in a similar financial position to one on benefits. We have made work not pay.

Visualarts Sun 04-Nov-12 08:55:35

Xenia i dont think low wages would go up without state intervention (min wage etc), would they? Workers simply dont have enough negotiating power in areas like catering, cleaning etc. Particularly in areas of high unemployment, but as a general rule as well.

Xenia Sun 04-Nov-12 11:43:40

They always have. We havent' had the minimum wage for most of my life time and in the 1970s we had 18%, 20% and 22% infliation over 3 years. There was no minimum wage then at all. Free markets work best.

there were also strong unions and plenty of manual work. my dad talks of how you could get annoyed with your boss and walk out on monday and be in a new job by wednesday maybe even with better pay.

different times.

and no matter how many times you say a single mother on 50k and a single mum on benefits are in roughly the same financial boat it remains untrue.

Xenia Sun 04-Nov-12 13:15:06

I don't agree.

Janice earns £50k a year in London gross. She pays loads of tax to support her never had a job in her life single mother sister who l