Childcare tax breaks for working parents.

(291 Posts)
youarewinning Tue 18-Mar-14 06:46:51

Please someone explain this to me? There seems to be a £2000 tax break for families where there are 2 working parents.

So does this excude single working families as it excuses families with a SAHP.


riksti Tue 18-Mar-14 06:51:10

I don't think we've had the small print for the new scheme through yet. The original proposals (that were due to start in Oct 2015) said both parents in two-parent families need to be working to claim and the one parent in single-parent families needs to be working to claim. The parents could be self-employed or employed (an improvement on current childcare voucher rules) but ignored student parents.

From what I understand if a family is already using childcare voucher scheme then they can continue with that instead - d

riksti Tue 18-Mar-14 06:52:37

(Oops! Fat fingers posting early) don't know how long the two schemes are to be run in parallel.

youarewinning Tue 18-Mar-14 07:08:06

Thanks. Just watching it on daybreak and they used the words 'both parents must be working' and still no mention of LP families.

The proposal is for £2000 tax break per child.

I'm wondering if is run as well as the child are tax credits people receive?

Crumblemum Tue 18-Mar-14 08:52:27

I think this is eligible for lone parents, if the parent is in work, and eligible for couples where both parents work.

kim147 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:06:49

If you are separated, you still both can have childcare costs which are expensive. In fact, one of the main issues separated parents have is how bloody expensive it is running two separate houses and trying to keep your child fed etc.

Just maybe a reason why children from separated parents do badly - because their parents have no money. But instead of trying to help these parents, they try to encourage people to stay together with money.

But we do know what the Government thinks of lone parents and separated families.

Mercedes519 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:13:23

Oh yes Kim clearly there are whole segments of society that aren't 'hard-working' enough.

I am really annoyed at this because it's all about two income households AGAIN. Just like child benefit, it's intrinsicly unfair to single income households where either there is a lone parent or in my case a disabled parent. The government have agreed he can't work (he's on the support ESA) so why are we penalised?

The small print hasn't been announced yet so we live in hope <<hollow laugh>>

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 18-Mar-14 09:21:43

The government have compiled 10 key facts on the scheme that you can find over here - hope this is helpful.

kim147 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:26:12

I can't decide if I'm hard working or from a broken family confused

The Government likes one but hates the other.

DingbatsFur Tue 18-Mar-14 09:27:01

I don't understand. My DH and I get childcare vouchers worth nearly 6000£ a year. How is cutting this to 2000 a saving? Oh wait, it's not. Why don't they encourage more people to take up the existing system which seems to work perfectly well.
If it is as well run as tax credits then we are all doomed.

PrincessOfChina Tue 18-Mar-14 09:33:47

I'm actually quite impressed at the rethink on this one. It'll come into force too late for us to take full advantage though, as DD will be starting school next September.

But good to see they recognised that two parents claiming vouchers to help with nursery fees for a single child would lose out under the scheme.

TeeBee Tue 18-Mar-14 09:35:11

It's a load of shite. I wish they would just put all the money into education and the healthcare service. This is what I want money spent on. This is what will impact my children, and everyone's, for the better. To be honest this will put me off voting for them as if seems they consider us thick enough to be swayed by it. I'm self employed, I work full time hours but stagger it around the kids, so often I'm working late at night and weekends to fit it all in. I won't get help because I'm not putting my children into child care, but I'm working like a dog. And if I did, I'd spend it on tutors and good healthcare, the things that this government are totally fucking up!

riksti Tue 18-Mar-14 09:35:27

Dingbats - childcare vouchers may be an additional perk from your employer but most employees have to enter some type of salary sacrifice to get them. This means that most families are not getting the value of the childcare vouchers for free but only the amount that would go to tax on the vouchers. This is about £930 (per person) if you're a basic rate taxpayer.

Cindy34 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:37:35

Have yet to read the small print but the headline figures seem good. Not sure why it is being rolled out over a year, why not start it all from day one?

To get 2000 you need to be paying 10,000 in childcare cost, so 8000 cost to parents, government adds 2000. I think that is how it will work, yet to read the small print.

So if childcare cost was 5000, then parents pay 4000, government pays 1000. So would it be in the governments interest to reduce the cost of childcare?

Cindy34 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:39:04

Looks like the Small Print can be found here on

exiledmancityfan Tue 18-Mar-14 09:44:42

It's still a drop in the ocean. I work with a lot of European people and we have talked about the cost of childcare in the respective countries and in the UK it is nearly double the cost of the other countries.

This government and to be honest the other lot to say they want to get parents back to work but when you have fork out over £900 PCM for childcare you have to be earning over £20k to be bringing home enough to cover the child care never mind the optional at least it seems to the government things like mortgage/rent, bills, food etc

TheGreatHunt Tue 18-Mar-14 09:59:10

The 2015 means that some people in the existing scheme will be worse off if they switch to the new scheme. That's my understanding anyway.

It is all smoke and mirrors. This isn't extra money.

Kopparbergkate Tue 18-Mar-14 10:27:28

Doesn't help us at all. I'm a student and DH works full time, so we're not eligible. A couple earning £300k would be eligible. Guess gaining advanced skills isn't that important to society after all sad

Abgirl Tue 18-Mar-14 10:38:49

kopparbergkate there are childcare grants available to full time students on HE courses, you might be eligible? Details on website.

I will be sticking with childcare vouchers as long as I can as the benefits are definitely higher for us, in fact don't think we'll be eligible for new scheme (at least until I am made redundant but that's another story...)

bohoec Tue 18-Mar-14 10:39:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cindy34 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:56:52

How can the current childcare voucher scheme be better? Max voucher amount is 243 a month, that is not the tax saving. Tax saving is around 930 a year.
What am I missing? Is it that the 930 is higher than the 20% of childcare cost?

Mercedes519 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:00:50

Cindy because I've been in the childcare scheme for a few years I get the maximum tax relief on the �243 which is about �80 a month/�930 a year as the money comes out before it gets taxed.

As my childcare costs are �6000 a year under the new scheme I would get �1000 so i would be marginally better off. And if my childcare costs went up then I could be more better off than that.

BUT, as previously mentioned I can't. Oh well - at least they aren't shutting the voucher scheme before DD goes to school. Well, I hope not anyway...

riksti Tue 18-Mar-14 11:04:30

Cindy - the tax saving can be more for someone who is paying 45% tax - £1,370. It would be nothing under the new scheme.
Even a basic rate taxpayer would get more under the childcare voucher scheme if their partner is not working as under the new scheme relief is available only if both partners are working.

Kopparbergkate Tue 18-Mar-14 11:16:20

Thanks for the link to grants! We earn too much for those I think...and tbh, we don't need a grant; it would just be nice for us (well, DH) to get the tax break that a couple earning gazillions more than us will get automatically.

frumpity33higswash Tue 18-Mar-14 11:56:19

It comes in after general election. And could be scrapped. Long-term promises by governments have a poor history.

Are stay at home mums/dads" being marginalised. Or just ignored?

The paper is very helpful re the small print. Single working parent families can claim as much as a dual working parent family with the same number of children, which seems like an improvement to me.

The position for those on beneifts of various sorts is too complex for my little brain!

Too little, too late and again the main focus is on Couples.
So again penalising single parents, aswell as partnerships where one works and the other is the stay at home parent.

It is wrong on many levels, especially as those on up to 300k jointly may still benefit from itshock yet singles and sahp will miss out again...
I could almost yawn at what this government comes up with next zzzzzz

Well Cameron and his cronies definitely will not be voted in again by people like me. He will lose voters and even those that will benefit from this, will see that it is yet another empty promise brought out to win his rich little voterswink

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 12:17:31

I don't think SAH parents are being marginalised.

It's not possible to get a tax break if you don't pay tax - and effectively this is a tax break albeit not at everyone's marginal rate of tax.
And I interpret this scheme as assisting people to work by helping with the cost of childcare, and SAH parents don't need childcare in the same way that working parents do.

I know a few SAH parents (interestingly more and more men) and they would not expect to receive govt assistance towards childcare because they don't use childcare - they gave up work in order to be able to care for their children themselves.

TheGreatHunt Tue 18-Mar-14 12:21:29

Why do SAH need childcare? As someone has said it is a tax break. So if you pay tax you benefit? It is a bit like complaining you don't get a pension when you're still of working age. You're ineligible!

It is penalising single parents though as they still need childcare, obviously.

riksti Tue 18-Mar-14 12:24:41

But single parents do get it, don't they?

But single parents can use the scheme if they work.

Littlepinkpear Tue 18-Mar-14 12:25:10

Does this compensate me from going from £243 a month tax free to the lower level of £124 for child care vouchers when they changed it a few years ago?

Also, surely I will only go back to the same level of government 'benefits' than I was at when they removed child benefit from my family??

I still don't see how this will make my family better off.

Cindy34 Tue 18-Mar-14 12:25:35

Thanks. Sounds like it may need some calculation to work out if better with ccv or with the new scheme, depending on individual circumstances at the time. I suspect the more children you have and the higher the childcare cost, then the more the new scheme would be better, where as with one child, the voucher scheme may be better.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Mar-14 12:33:10

Of course it is penalising a sahp who uses childcare.
The tax break and childcare are 2 totally different things.
Just because the gov are using a tax break for childcare subsidy, doesn't mean that sahp won't miss out on subsidised childcare. of course they need it too.

MollyWhuppie Tue 18-Mar-14 12:33:57

It's complicated to figure out but I think the problem with it is that you need to be paying around £8,000 per child in childcare to benefit, as the government will only pay 20% of whatever you are paying in childcare. So it will benefit parents who need full time childcare.

In my situation my husband works full time and I work part time. He claims the vouchers and gets 40% tax relief on the £3k childcare costs we need to enable me to work, so we are better off in this instance.

Under the new scheme we would only be eligible for 20% of that amount.

LizSurly Tue 18-Mar-14 12:36:44

I hope all the creches don't instantly put up all their fees. The govt need to make sure that doesn't happen. They introduced something like this in Ireland years ago (before the collapse, well before it, and now axed again) but literally over night, childcare expenses all went up across the board, childminders, creches, afterschool. all rates went up.

Guineapig99 Tue 18-Mar-14 12:36:47

We both work & it's better than the current voucher scheme for us - so am a bit happier.

Not sure what all this "discrimination" talk against SAHM is about - if you have a parent at home then you don't actually need childcare do you? plus the free nursery places kick in at 3+.
Single working parents will be eligible or can stick with the vouchers.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Tue 18-Mar-14 12:38:23

It's not tax-free. Currently childcare vouchers are taken out of pre-tax income, so before student loan, NI and income tax.

This new scheme is just a flat 20%.

Personally, we'll be sticking with the childcare vouchers, as we'd be worse of on the new scheme, as I suspect many people would be.

I don't see how it's penalising SAHP, because it doesn't affect their current childcare choices which are either:
a) pay for it yourself via savings/grandparents/partners' wages
b) pay for it using working partners' employee childcare voucher
c) wait until the free hours aged 3

All of those options are still open to SAHP, nothing's being taken away from them is it?

TheGreatHunt Tue 18-Mar-14 12:40:21

I honestly cannot believe that politicians think we will fall for this.

I can read my payslip and see that I won't be better off. Don't they think people are idiots?

Cindy34 Tue 18-Mar-14 12:42:23

Government can't control what childcare providers charge, so increase in fees is possible. Though with other changes going on, such as childminder agencies, maybe there will be some control on fees, though would that breach fair pricing rules (is it called a monopoly when one organisation sets fees for many?)

Some of us will be better off though - it would be interesting to see what the majority is.

MollyWhuppie Tue 18-Mar-14 12:42:56

I think the SAHP argument is completely daft - if you are a SAHP why do you need free childcare??

(Although I do agree that this government massively undervalues the role SAHPs play, I don't think this particular argument re. childcare holds water)

We would be worse off under the new scheme. DH is a higher rate taxpayer, and has been in his scheme since before April 2011, so we get higher rate tax relief on his contributions. In addition, if it was taken out of salary sacrifice we would lose more of the Child Benefit as DH's net salary would go up, and he is in the £50-60k bracket.

At least they have upped the age limit, it was originally due to start for children aged under 5 in 2015 and increase each year, which would have straight away excluded 2 of my children anyway.

I need to do some more sums though...

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Mar-14 12:52:55


Working parents have your points a and c too, but are receiving help.
Some sahps working partners don't receive employee childcare vouchers.
The only difference is the working aspect.
Both sets of children need childcare.
I know some wouldn't choose the childcare, I wouldn't particularly.
However, to play with her friends at our local after school club during the holidays even just one day, I have to pay for this because I choose to look after her the rest of the time.
When others choose to work, have more money, can afford this and get help.

riksti Tue 18-Mar-14 12:55:26

WoodBurner - good point on the effect of salary sacrifice and child benefit withdrawal. I'm sure your family won't be the only one who has to take the CB withdrawal into account because giving up the salary sacrifice will bring you into the withdrawal bracket.

Yes, good point about the Child Benefit thresholds.

Morethan - obviously option d) for SAHPs is not paying for childcare. That's not an option for most working parents, unless they have very amenable GPs.

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Tue 18-Mar-14 13:01:41

childcare vouchers are infinitely better for me - XH pays the max amount in each month as part (most) of his child maintenance, so, unless he moves jobs and isn't entitled to them any more I'll stick with that.

My calculation is as follows. We currently have childcare costs of around £12k per year (this will go down shortly as DS starts school in September, thank goodness - been clinging on since I returned to work after DC3 last October). So we would save £2000 (the maximum) per year under the new scheme.

Currently, we both sacrifice the max £243 per month. This saves me £933 per year and DH £1225 per year (I think? bit unsure on this calc, as he is pre April 2011). So total savings currently are £2158 per year.

However, if we went to the new scheme, DH's net income would increase by £2916 pa, meaning we would lose 29.16% of our child benefit = £714.

So we would be worse off by £872 per year, nearly £75 per month. That's a lot of money...

PrincessOfChina Tue 18-Mar-14 13:09:17

Really good point about the salary sacrifice thing. Ending the current scheme will mean I pay off more student loan and make more pension contributions. Not necessarily a bad thing but not a priority to me right now.

Littlepinkpear Tue 18-Mar-14 13:15:02

Thanks wood burner, that's exactly my thoughts too.

I will still worse off compared to how I was two years ago due to the child care voucher drop to £124 and removal of child benefit. Child care costs are just under £8000 at the moment so won't realise the full £2000.

When dd2 comes along I will still be worse off due to the balance of child benefit being removed, higher child are costs and going back to no free hours of nursery until she is 3.

Littlepinkpear Tue 18-Mar-14 13:16:07

Hang on, had a thought. What about Increased NI contributions?

Theonlyoneiknow Tue 18-Mar-14 13:16:37

I though I read that you could use both - the childcare vouchers AND this new scheme?

Increased NI is included in the figures quoted as 'savings' for the childcare voucher scheme I gave

Increased NI is included in the figures quoted as 'savings' for the childcare voucher scheme I gave

The other thing to consider is that if you go on maternity leave while receiving childcare vouchers, as it is a salary sacrifice scheme your employer has to keep funding them while you are on leave, but may not deduct from SMP (can from contractual if you get full or half pay for a period, for example). This would be a big loss to anyone who only receives SMP. I guess this wouldn't happen with the new scheme. Which is better for employers, certainly...

Littlepinkpear Tue 18-Mar-14 13:19:53

Ahhhh. Still no better off then.

How exactly does this help me then Mr Cameron?

And I think is probably one of the main reasons why employers will want to stop doing childcare vouchers once there is an alternative that can be used.

I'm fully expecting my employer to withdraw from the CV scheme in 2015, but DH's won't (because he owns part of the firm and gets to make these decisions), so I will have to investigate if I can contribute to the new scheme while DH is still receiving CV's.

Second calc - from September 2015 onwards, our childcare costs will be approx. £8000 pa. Therefore new scheme savings are £1600 pa. Still worth us staying with the old scheme as we get DH's savings of £1225 + the CB withdrawal of £714 = £1939 pa.

However, what I think will happen is that by then DH will be earning above the £60k even after voucher deductions, therefore the CB withdrawal ceases to become an issue and we would be better off joining the new scheme. Possibly.

Who knows...

riksti Tue 18-Mar-14 13:27:58

WoodBurner - wouldn't you get £2,400 under the new scheme, though, if your childcare costs are £12,000 for more than one child? The £2k limit is per child, not per family. Not saying your conclusion would be any different based on your calculations, just thought I'd point this out.

MollyWhuppie Tue 18-Mar-14 13:28:59

The way I read it, is that your childcare will need to cost a total of £10,000 per child for the government to pay the full £2000 per child towards it - is that correct?

I had read it as that was the maximum in total? Yes it would change the calcs, but only until this September, when our costs should drop below £10k. But thanks for pointing that out, it will make a difference to some people.

MollyWhuppie - its a maximum per child it appears - so as I have 3 children, I can get relief on up to £30k per year - £6000. I actually pay £12,000 per year, pretty evenly spread over the kids, so I should get £2400 relief.

At this moment in time, we would still be worse off because of the child benefit withdrawal.

But everyone is going to have to do their own calculations...

MollyWhuppie Tue 18-Mar-14 13:33:33

So it's only really beneficial to those on the old scheme while they are paying huge nursery costs - once the childcare costs go down a bit when the children are in school you will not be better off? Maybe this is a ploy to get all those on the old scheme to move across to the new one.

SuffolkNWhat Tue 18-Mar-14 13:34:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuffolkNWhat Tue 18-Mar-14 13:35:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

riksti Tue 18-Mar-14 13:38:54
diamondlizard Tue 18-Mar-14 13:44:30

oh dear what a load of shit this goverment is

just give everyone the child benefit back

CodandLobster Tue 18-Mar-14 14:03:15

Do anyone know if you will be able to use the money in the account to pay private school fees?

LaLay Tue 18-Mar-14 14:06:22

Support for child care costs are great. It would be nice to see children of sahp's supported too. Sahp's have no income of their own, so even without paying childcare costs they are financially worse off than working parents.

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 14:25:39

SAHPs have no income because they are not in paid employment. I really don't get why this always come up when childcare assistance for working parents is discussed. If you choose to be a SAHP, then surely you know that you won't get paid to do it, though the non-financial rewards are usually said to be way more important (and are the reason most SAHPs choose to do what they do). There is always the option to go out and get a job, if being paid is that important to you.

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 14:40:03


I expect(hope) the way the government looks at this is, what is the economic benefit of paying 20% towards childcare costs for parents with one SAHP. If the SAHP plans to work then there is a benefit as they will be contributing to the GDP/paying NI/tax etc (but then they cease to be a SAHP anyway). What other reasons would you need childcare and what is the economic benefit to the nation. Everything has to be paid for by all of us who do work and pay NI/tax, so everything has to have either a clear economic benefit or a high moral value (for example, funding pensions/healthcare etc. is something most people agree on).

I think if a SAHP can make this argument effectively (as opposed to the cliched person they always put on the radio whose only argument seems to be, it's not fair, we feel undervalued, why should we not have it, etc etc) then there may be something worth exploring. But I haven't heard a decent argument articulated yet.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Mar-14 14:52:17


Working parents are assisted with childcare on top of the free 15 hours given free for pre school.
Why are children of working parents in more need of a pre school education?
Wtf has pre school education got to do with economically benefitting the GDP, whether the parents work or not.
I don't think anybody suggested they should be paid as a sahp but argue for the same conditions for education.

I'm not bothered as have never used childcare, would rather do it ourselves. Neither did we bother with pre school and did this ourselves.
However, it is wrong to assume that all sahps are the same and education should be the same, whether working or not.

poshme Tue 18-Mar-14 15:01:07

Although we won't get this at the moment as I'm SAHM, I'm pleased its coming in- DH is self employed, and therefore could get nothing under old scheme. My employer (was some time ago now) had the voucher thing, but you could only join it once a year & didn't tell anyone about it so very few people befitted.
If I go back to work- as long as I earn more than £50 a week -we could sign up for it.
Sounds good to me. And it does seem (for once) that they've thought through single parents, parents of disabled childrens etc.

babySophieRose Tue 18-Mar-14 15:10:33

Why don't they subsidise the nurseries and/or offer more free hours for every child when they start nursery. This will be a much better option, not just giving peanuts and expecting a praise. All childcare help should be available for every parent in my opinion, no need to penalize students or disabled.
Not much will change with this new proposal, not noticeable anyway.

"Why are children of working parents in more need of a pre school education?"

They aren't. Quite the opposite, actually. The 15hrs universal pre-school provision is entirely designed to ensure that it is accessible to everyone, regardless of income.

You don't HAVE to take it as an SAHP. You can take it up, or look after your pre-schooler at home, or use alternative childcare (nursery, nanny, childminder), whatever you want.

If you work you can take it up, or use alternative childcare. If you work, you probably have to pay for the ADDITIONAL childcare you need to fit those 15hrs around your working week (so actually some children of working parents are LESS likely to have access to universal preschool provision given that most working parents need longer hours/school holiday coverage than pre-schools can provide).

Yes, for some parents those 15 hours help tip the balance of childcare being affordable or not, but they are not there to boost the country's GDP directly. They are there to make sure all children have access to SOME Ofsted-quality childcare and are prepared for education.

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 15:15:45


I think you're confusing or at least conflating pre-school education with childcare.
Childcare typically needs to cover 10 hours per day, 5 days a week, to allow a parent to get to work, work, and get back home again. So we're looking at approx 50 hours a week cover. It is not education, it is care.

15 hours pre-school is all very well but it's actually fairly irrelevant for working parents, covering only approx 30% of the hours actually needed. As well as that, not everyone uses a nursery/pre-school (childminders/nannies etc) and some nurseries/schools don't accept the funding anyway - which was my experience incidentally. So I see childcare as a separate area to pre-school, whereby pre-school IS education based and indeed is open and available to everyone on the same terms.

However it just brings me back to the same point, why do SAHPs need childcare?

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 15:19:37

X posted with Twelve who explained better than me smile

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Mar-14 15:30:44

Yes, but Ofsted inspect for education purpose and the free pre school education does not work to set hours, it doesn't start or finish at a certain time.
Working parents are having not only childcare but early years pre school education subsidised for much longer than children of sahps and this is wrong.
if it is not possible to draw a distinct line between childcare and education then surely it is fair for it all to be subsidised for those who choose to use it. Working parents choose to use it too, there are other alternatives.

Viviennemary Tue 18-Mar-14 15:36:20

I think it is bad that people are having to wait a year for this. If it's such a good idea then why not now. Things could easily change next year and it won't be possible after all. It doesn't seem quite right that the richer you are the more you will benefit. I thought it was up to £150,000 joint income. Which is a huge amount of money. Far far too high.

I will admit to being completely baffled by the idea that SAHP should have subsidised childcare in an economic climate where we have families living in B&Bs and eating from food banks, but I think that's an ideological difference.

However, you're not correct that all Ofsted-registered childcare is educational. To be an Ofsted registered nanny for example you need First Aid, insurance, and a 'Common Skills' course, which I believe is usually just a one day course covering development alongside a whole range of other topics. Once registered, there is no requirement to 'educate'. I don't know what the situation is for childminders.

fedupandfifty Tue 18-Mar-14 15:46:08

bumblezz many sahps do not actively choose to become sahps. Being a sahp is simply the least worst option. Yes, of course a sahp could choose to get a job instead-but most jobs are simply not compatible, for a variety of reasons-with looking after your own children full-time.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Mar-14 15:57:22

I think it is awful to determine subsidised childcare in terms of contributing to the economy through working and paying tax, however being that this is the usual argument.
A working single parent only contributes tax for one person the same as 2 parents with a sahp so that argument doesn't stand really.

As for why a sahp might need childcare, is this really such an alien concept. let me see now, how about a break for the parent when the child has an ill sibling, or the parent is ill, or for socialisation, to job seek, for appointments, I'm sure others could add their own.

How about even just given the same opportunity? Many wouldn't choose it, but it would be good to know it was available if they did need it.

LaLay Tue 18-Mar-14 16:08:03

Bumblebzz, Yes I agree if sahps wanted an income they could get a job. Equally working parents could stop work and stay at home to look after their children if they don't like paying childcare costs. It would just seem more reasonable to me if the government gave each child under five the financial benefit and let each parent choose the childcare option that best suits that child.

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 16:14:15


I agree that being a SAHP is often the least worst option, due to the extortionate cost of childcare often not being covered by the addiitonal salary - and I see the govt assitance towards childcare as a step in the right direction to addressing this, so that people don't have to be a SAHP unless they truly want to be. However, it still means childcare is implicitly associated with working.

Those reasons you gave for needing childcare as a SAHP are all valid (and not particular to SAHPs - though I don't organise childcare so I can attend to appointments or have a break, just so I can earn a living. It's too darn expensive to spend on unless I am bringing in more in income than the cost of the care itself.) but due to their adhoc nature, and the lack of economic benefit, I don't think they provide sufficient argument to justify taxpayers funding the cover.

However this is just my opinion (and seemingly the government's, though that is always subject to change.

LaLay Tue 18-Mar-14 16:15:52

Bumblebzz I also don't necessarily agree that sahps need childcare, but they do need help in caring for their children as all parents do. Childcare fees cover costs not just for supervision of children but also for food, heating, equipment and resources at the place of childcare. All of which children who stay at home need too!

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 16:20:55


Childcare fees certainly don't cover those costs for me and many others. I pay my nanny £14.50 per hour and that just covers her salary/tax/NI/my employers NI. Food/heating/resources etc including feeding the nanny) has to be paid for by me and I can't use any childcare voucher scheme towards these costs.
To be honest childcare vouchers - and the new scheme - cover such a drop in the ocean of annual chidlcare costs I'm not sure your envy (if that's what it is) is well placed.

ImAThrillseekerHoney Tue 18-Mar-14 16:24:56

Viviennemary you don't benefit more the richer you are - you benefit more the more you pay out (though of course someone who gets a £4,000 tax break on a £20,000 nursery/nanny bill is still £8,000 worse off than someone who gets £2,000 tax break on a £10,000 bill). Under the original salary sacrifice system rich people got 40% tax breaks while poor ones got 20% or nothing - now that really was questionable. Most of the people on this thread who are planning to stick with vouchers are doing so because they are higher rate tax payers who signed up to the original version of the scheme.

Yes £150,000 per parent is a lot, but remember that the old system had no upper limit at all - a Premier league footballer's SAH WAG could claim.

albaniansinmyexhaust Tue 18-Mar-14 16:33:52

This is a full-blown attack on SAHMs now, or at least on the acceptability and validity of their choice. Very clear message that g'ovt will not support parental care.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Mar-14 16:34:26

If sahps are not entitled to subsidised childcare, because they don't need it surely it should be awarded on a need basis.
Who actually needs the childcare and who just wants their choice subsidised.

Friend one : She works local Morrisons has part subsidised childcare for all her hours, doesn't earn enough to pay tax, her dh works full time.
When childcare costs are met the whole wage is wiped out and it actually costs her to work during the school holidays.

Friend two: She is a sahm her dh works full time.
No childcare subsidy entitlement.

Both lifestyle choices, one has subsidised childcare paid for by the tax payer.

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 16:35:05

150k is indeed a lot, but how many people really earn that much? Also anyone I know on a high salary like that works such crazy hours - and unpredictable hours - that their childcare costs soar to cover the extended and unsociable hours.

When I had a full-time nanny I had to earn 50k before tax just to cover her gross salary (which was roughly 35k a year). And those were for regular hours, 50-55 hours week. That wouldn't cut it in a "high flying" position where core hours don't exist.
I'm not looking for sympathy for those high earners, but things aren't all always as rosy as they seem. Also the net take home pay when you earn 150k does not scale up by the time you've factored in 40/45% tax bands and NI, reduced tax free allowances etc.

I'm not struggling to see why a SAHP might want subsidised childcare - a break, ill siblings, appointments, all the rest of it - I'm struggling to see how this country can afford to offer subsidised childcare that doesnt' have an economic basis.

Like a lot of working parents here if I have an ill child, or an appointment, or want 'a break' <hollow laugh> then I have to fit it in around childcare that I pay for. Being self-employed I get absolutely no financial help with this, but I do suffer loss of earnings AND have to pay out for child care for every day a child is ill, or I have an appointment, or anything similar.

It's simple economics: I am working, so I am paying NI and tax. I pay for childcare, so I am indirectly and directly paying NI and tax for childcare employees. It costs this family thousands and thousands each year but I am doing it to keep my business alive during the pre-school years. If childcare becomes more affordable all it will do is enable me to take on MORE work, and so contribute MORE to the economy.

albaniansinmyexhaust Tue 18-Mar-14 16:46:13


SAHMS wanting to use childcare are likely to want very PT, maybe to give individual attention to a high-needs child once or twice a week, maybe to study (improve their skills),attend CPD (update their skills, keep professional registrations current) or volunteer (socially useful, keeps a toe in the world of work).

SAHMs returning to the job market might want to settle DCs into childcare in advance and/or need childcare while they job-hunt and attend interviews.

Are these not all socially/economically desirable activities? Would a 20% tax break on PT hours really be unaffordable. The family are paying 80% after all.

Retropear Tue 18-Mar-14 16:47:01

You only need to earn £50 a week to get this,millions of second earners won't be paying a penny in tax but will get it.

I fail to see how as a country we can't help parents have a period as a Sahp when they really need it but we can fund childcare for several children of parents in non taxing paying jobs when many would rather be doing the childcare themselves.

Oh that and free food/childcare for the uber rich.

youarewinning Tue 18-Mar-14 16:50:30

Hi, thanks for all the replies - sorry I've not been here bit I've been out at work all day grin

I'll give the thread a proper read this evening when DS finally goes to sleep!

I'm also scarily proud that MNHQ responded on my thread - thanks KatieMN [gin]

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 16:50:53


With the friend 1/2 example, are you proposing that both should be treated the same in terms of chidlcare subsidy?
Morrisons will stll be paying Employers NI on behalf of friend 1, even though she might be below the tax threshold. By staying in the workplace she is future-proofing herself and will find it much easier to ramp up her work if/when she wants to, versus a SAHP. Given we will all be working well into our 70s, I personally think it's unrealistic to expect not to ever work again, unless you have a source of income to support that choice (an OH with longevity and loyalty, inheritance, etc).

I guess we will have to agree to differ on this topic as I would want to support her choice to work, by assisting with childcare costs. Whereas the SAHP doesn't need childcare support, in my opinion.

Anyway, it's a shame to derail this thread into a discussion on SAHPs, when this legislation needs to be teased out so that those who are actually affected (working parents) can assess the impact on them.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Tue 18-Mar-14 16:51:03

surely the uber rich use private schools so don't get free school meals anyway?

Actually I completely agree that in an ideal world this scheme should be open to parents studying or planning on returning to work. I can't see how it could be implemented - maybe a qualifying period or similar - but it would be great if it could.

But that's a very different conversation to saying that the government is punishing a lifestyle choice., or that SAHP should get subsidised childcare just because working parents do.

youarewinning Tue 18-Mar-14 16:54:43

Just had a look at katieMN link and looks like I'll get child are costs until DS is 16yo if they count disabled as those receiving DLA.

Retropear Tue 18-Mar-14 16:56:37

50k is deemed as rich by the Tories,plenty of "rich" parents use state education.

Retropear Tue 18-Mar-14 16:57:54

And yes this gov thinks parental care is not to be encouraged.

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 16:59:03


To your last point I agree in an ideal world this would be the case (so long as it wasn't subject to abuse).
And totally agree with your second comment, helping working parents shouldn't automatically be intrepreted as punishing SAHPs but for some reason every time legislation like this is announced, it meets with the same reaction. But you don't hear, people without children, for example, moaning that they won't benefit from childcare subsidies.

Retropear Tue 18-Mar-14 17:00:12

You do actually.

Obviously not on MN a parenting forum.grin

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 17:01:35

LoL yes you're probably right. They don't get radio time though, it probably makes it more entertaining to hear mothers arguing with each other (sigh).

albaniansinmyexhaust Tue 18-Mar-14 17:01:55

But Twelve how long do you think an average SAHMing period lasts now?

Less than five years, would be my guess. Very wise to keep a toe in the world of work if you can.

If this gov't wants the highest possible proportion of parents in work, it should be supporting the type of activities I've outlined upthread (study, volunteering, CPD), to make the transition from SAHMing to WOHMing easier.

In any case, 20% tax break on say 7 hours (two nursery sessions) per week (SAHM)is considerably less than 20% of full time, 50-55 hour a week childcare. Why are the gov't being so petty over relatively small amounts, unless they are making some kind of ideological point (aka ideological attack on stay at home parenting)

Would be a bit like me complaining about all that money Olympic athletes get in funding... grin

<looks at very unOlympian physique>

I'm not disagreeing with you Albanian at all.

It's a new scheme, it;s not even been rolled out yet. It is, hopefully, a step change leap from the current system which ONLY allows parents who are employed by companies which participate in the voucher scheme to claim any tax benefits at all. It would be lovely to think it could be rolled out into something more progressive that included study and voluntary work etc - sadly, given the DWP approach to voluntary work versus workfare etc I doubt very much that will happen.

But that's very different to the SAHP poster upthread who was saying that it was unfair that she had to pay for the afterschool/holiday club costs of her - presumably school age - daughter so she could see her friends.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Mar-14 17:10:48


Quite funny, but not really a comparison.

Perhaps you can explain that to the children round here who play with friends at our local youth club but during holidays when its a summer club, the sahp's can't afford to send their dc to play with their friends. However, their dad who pays tax is funding their friends place.
Oh, and its the lifestyle choice family, not paying any more tax than the family with a sahp.
Tell me its fair now and a sahp doesn't need childcare.

albaniansinmyexhaust Tue 18-Mar-14 17:13:21

I'd be interested to know the delivery cost anyhow. All these nitpicky criteria hugely inflate the administration.

On a related point, the g#ovt really need to decide whether we are all individual tax units or whether families/households are the tax units.

My first comment was related to people without children moaning that they won't benefit from childcare subsidies.

And yes, I do think that families with both parents are working through the school holidays have more need of subsidised childcare in the school holidays than families with a SAHP. There is a poster on another thread who calculated that school holiday childcare would cost her over £700 per week. That is terrifying.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Mar-14 17:21:11


I don't share your belief as it isn't always in the interests of children of sahp's.
I also don't believe that one lifestyle choice should be funded and another not.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 18-Mar-14 17:23:12

I appreciate that as a SAHM I don't need a childcare subsidy, as I look after my children myself. The thing that really annoys me about this is the fact that Osborne, Cameron and Clegg are all out justifying why families earning up to 300k a year should be entitled to this subsidy, yet in 2010 that same trio made it expressly clear that child benefit was being removed from families with one higher rate tax payer, as the people with the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden. So, I'm left thinking if we can't afford to pay child benefit to families with a single income of 50k, how can we afford to give tax breaks of similar amounts to families on 300k. I really don't see their logic on this I'm afraid.

TeacakeEater Tue 18-Mar-14 17:28:24

The wages of parents should be sufficient to pay for childcare rather than relying on the state. Why does the government want to prop up poor employers and the low wage economy?

Couples with a SAHP calculate that loss of earnings will be offset by savings on childcare, if childcare costs are subsidised by taxes this does undermine those calcs. Also it will act as a big disincentive to future parents to SAH. Therefore I think it's fair to say government policy is undermining couples who would choose one as a SAHP.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Mar-14 17:28:47


because it is and always has been the policy of a conservative government to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
What they say and what they do are two totally different things.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 18-Mar-14 17:29:47

Also, I wouldn't count your chickens on this. You have to ask yourself why it isn't coming in this September. Why wait till 2015 if it's such a great policy? My guess is, being the cynic I am, is that after the election, it will all change again. It's not like politicians are renowned for keeping their promises is it? The tories won't win anyway and will labour honour this? I really wouldn't bet the house on it.

24again Tue 18-Mar-14 17:35:03

Totally agree ihategeorgeosborne. Why take away my child benefit only to 'give' some of it back to families earning up to £300,000??? I chose to be a SAHP, and we are lucky to be able to afford for me to do this, but why then penalise us for it?
Really starting to strongly dislike George Osborne.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 18-Mar-14 17:37:52

Only really starting to dislike him 24again? I've felt that way for some time now, since about 2010 in fact grin

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 18:30:01

Not sure I agree with the comparisons with child benefit. The money input into the childcare scheme can only be spent on childcare. Whereas child benefit was cash that could be spent on anything.
Funding childcare (as opposed to child benefit) directly relates to a policy which wants to encourage people to work.
Though I would emphasise that encouraging people to work does not necessarily (contrary to some views on here) invalidate the choices of those who choose not to work. SAHPs aren't discouraged from being SAHPs, unless you view helping one cohort of society (WOHPs) as somehow targeting SAHPs. Which I just don't see, but then I am happy with my choices and don't need them to be validated or recognised, and I certainly don't compare my lot with others', as that is bound to lead to misery (there are always others who appear to have it better).

Fifyfomum Tue 18-Mar-14 18:41:10

there will be an increase in childcare tax credits to 85% max instead of 75% max.

NomDeClavier Tue 18-Mar-14 18:48:10

Re the admin point I don't think it will be that bad. HMRC have all the qualifying info anyway.

As it's an annual allowance presumably you can stack it up over a year so although you'll be paying out while job seeking or your child has settling in sessions you might be able to get some of that back but we don't have details on the voucher system yet.

This seems to be encouraging people to have more children if anything!

TeacakeEater Tue 18-Mar-14 18:55:43

When one of two options attracts new tax breaks and the other doesn't a government is signalling its favoured course of action. It is a financial inducement to use childcare of certain types. It will affect behaviour, or at least it's meant to!

GreatSoprendo Tue 18-Mar-14 19:13:44

I'm confused by the new scheme. DP and I are both higher rate tax payers and both buy vouchers through salary sacrifice at the max £124 each a month. Our nursery bill is roughly £9000 a year (and will rise to £18000 when DS2 arrives in a few months).
So currently we save about £1200 a year in tax through the current scheme, and can't save more when DS2 arrives. Am I right in thinking we will save 20% of our total nursery costs (up to £10,000 per child) through the new scheme rather than saving 40% of the proportion we can buy via salary sacrifice now? If so does that mean £1800 savings for one child and £3600 for two? Hope someone can explain - my pregnant brain is not functioning well today smile

woodlandwanderwoman Tue 18-Mar-14 19:26:04

Can I just point out that there are still costs to caring for a child at home?

As a SAHP only thing that doesn't get paid for is my time. Other than that the "care" my child needs is exactly the same as any other - 3 meals a day, personal care, stimulation and varied activities. They may not cost the same price as a nursery place but they do cost me a small bloody fortune!

Tbh I have said it before and think this is another divide and rule tactic designed by schoolboy politicians to make us argue amongst ourselves about how the work done by SAHP is so much less worthy than that of ordinary taxpayers rather than address the real issue which is that childcare here is extortionate, unregulated and unaffordable.

All this tax relief will just be absorbed in fee rises before we know it anyway and we will be back where we started.

I echo the above point that I would rather see taxes going into better education than subsidising childcare costs to ultimately line the pockets of childcare providers.

I don't think that SAHP should automatically be entitled to this but I do think that it should be means tested so that those who stay at home BECAUSE childcare is unaffordable are supported too.

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 19:28:54


That's how I'm reading it. The govt will contribute up to 2k for every 8k you pay towards childcare, per child. So 20%.
20% * 9000 * 2 children = £3600

Sounds like it will certainly benefit you more than the voucher scheme.

(Though my brain is also 27 wks pregnant so maybe someone should come along and verify!).

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 19:45:13

woodlandwanderwoman Those costs also apply to those of us who use nannies, as I cannot pay for food/activities etc out of any childcare scheme. To be honest i would never expect someone else (i.e. tax payers) to pay towards these. I think you've got to be really nitpicky to resent paying for these items for your own children.

It is globally recognised (cf. womenomics) that getting women into work has a huge impact on economic growth. Like it or not, this is the real world we live in and a government would be mad (or go bankrupt) if they were to ignore this fact and not try to increase the numbers of women working. Especially with an ageing population, we all need to work for longer. There is untapped potential in women opting out of the workforce, made even more severe when those very women have been educated at a high level. So whilst I do see the value in people staying at home to look after children, especially during the early months/years, I also think that if we all expect fundamental services and social care/safety nets from the society we live in, governments that we elect will seek ways to pay for this.

Fifyfomum Tue 18-Mar-14 19:59:44

My children are in nursery and I pay for three meals a day for them!

IhateGeorgeO Tue 18-Mar-14 20:02:44

I still haven't forgiven George for taking away my child benefit. My husband (who works very long hours) earns just over the threshold for child benefit and I am on a low part-time salary, providing my own childcare. However, George has allowed families where two parents are earning up to 49,999.99 each to keep their child benefit. The new childcare tax break scheme is to be available for parents earning up to 150K each in a bid to compensate them for the loss of child benefit. It doesn't help people like us! A family earning 300k surely don't need such help whereas a family where only one person is earning over 50K gross is NOT well off (I know there are people worse off but trust me we are struggling to make ends meet). Why not just reinstate child benefit as a universal benefit and reduce the salary on which tax relief on childcare is available? I suppose this salary figure is irrelevant anyway given that it seems they are keeping the existing childcare voucher scheme as well! On a final point, this new scheme is only available for children up to age 12. Are you supposed to leave a 12 year old home alone every evening after school and during the school holidays while you work full time? Even if you were given financial help with afterschool childcare for the over 12s, I don't think there is any - not in my area anyway. So, Mumsnet, please represent this viewpoint also next time you are asked to comment.

woodlandwanderwoman Tue 18-Mar-14 20:03:49

On the contrary bumblezz, I became a SAHP because I love looking after my children, what's to resent in that?

I wholeheartedly believe in initiatives that support anyone who wants to work, women or men. I just think that this money is going to go straight through into higher fees and isn't the solution in the longer term.

GreatSoprendo Tue 18-Mar-14 20:07:09

Thanks Bumble - I was doubting my own logic there! This will be a good scheme for us then, although appreciate others might not be better off.

And I agree with fifyfo - the 9k a year I pay in nursery fees includes 3 meals a day, social activities, craft materials, hot water, heating and all the other costs that a SAHP has, but it's unrealistic to suggest meals etc being subsidised but the taxpayer, given that the tax break covers such a small proportion of the overall cost.

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 20:14:32


Hopefully that won't happen but I guess it's a real danger. Where I live nursery waiting lists are so long (I heard a 2.5 year wait time today which is crazy) which makes you think nurseries could easily hike up their rates significantly and they will still have no problem filling their places. Then again at some point market forces should kick in and more players should enter the market.

Perhaps the government should look at what other European countries have done in terms of the state providing childcare, thus maintaining control over costs (and hopefully standards) but that seems like a mammoth task and no-one in government (or opposition frankly) looks capable of carrying off such a massive overhaul. And since massive == expensive, wouldn't that cause even more uproar amongst SAHPs who would not be the key beneficiaries.
I do agree that the childcare schemes (vouchers and now this) are imperfect solutions, but better to have them than nothing.

IhateGeorgeO Tue 18-Mar-14 20:26:56

Just noticed my username is very similar to another recently posted - sorry. I felt like a rant and registered without seeing the most recent posts so didn't realise.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 18-Mar-14 20:29:46

Great minds Ihate smile

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 18-Mar-14 20:32:19

SAHPs dont need childcare, they may want it but they dont need it.

I dont wear a uniform to work so cant claim the tax reduction for having one, i dont need mileage as dont travel really either but dont begrudge those with these expenses having them made tax deductible or exempt as they are a cost of working.

Helping with childcare costs to encourage people to work can only be for the good of the economy. Theres no economic point to paying for childcare of non workers. Surely if you choose not to work, therefore not contributing you cant then moan when a new tax initiative comes out that you dont benefit from. If you want to claim, then work.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 18-Mar-14 20:36:31

I've given up getting worked up by this government now. Life's too short. I'm not happy about the fairness regarding CB either Ihate (confusing, feel like I'm talking to myself grin ). I'm not happy about them artificially increasing house prices with help to buy either, but there's not much I can do about it. I've driven my husband and the dcs nuts by complaining about them constantly. You know what to do in 2015!

Bumblebzz Tue 18-Mar-14 20:37:19

Just read some more articles on the childcare scheme. I think we will be better off sticking with the current voucher scheme because:
- eldest will be older than 5 and therefore not eligible until 2020 (5 years after "go-live", so we will only be able to contribute to one lot of 10k of childcare costs (comes nowhere near our total outgoings)
- we have been contributing to the vouchers since before April 2011 (both higher rate tax payers) so we are lucky in that respect

However it would be handy to have a calculator to check, I guess there'll be loads of online tools in due course.
Anyone else thinking they will also stick with the vouchers?

woodlandwanderwoman Tue 18-Mar-14 20:39:43

I think many people would agree that an overhaul in childcare would be one of the best investments that could be made in the future of families and children.

It does beg the question though that if you took the inevitable rising cost of this scheme over a medium term period (since it would be political suicide to try to take it away after if ever it is implemented) and considered that against the cost of an entire overhaul, which would be most beneficial to the working population in the long term?

Until then, vouchers are definitely better than nothing!

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 18-Mar-14 20:41:14

Happy, it's not the child care SAHM's are not happy with. It's telling us 3 years ago that the country is on it's knees and the only right thing to do is remove CB from 'high earners' (one earner on Higher rate tax in fact). 3 years down the line we are suddenly rich enough to offer tax breaks to families on 300k a year. Hearing Clegg on the Today programme going on about why it was fair for the very wealthy to benefit from this is a total contradiction to his stance on CB 4 years ago. What happened to people with the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden (cringe). Why did he not think that about CB? That is why SAHM married to a higher rate tax payer are rightfully pissed off.

ImAThrillseekerHoney Tue 18-Mar-14 20:50:10

Surely we're taking away taxbreaks from people earning over 150,000 each ihate? This is adding an (admittedly high) earnings cap to a tax break which previously didn't have one, and before that was actively more beneficial to higher rate tax payers.

sleeperinsouthlondon Tue 18-Mar-14 21:09:48

Hearing Clegg on the Today programme going on about why it was fair for the very wealthy to benefit from this is a total contradiction to his stance on CB 4 years ago


TeacakeEater Tue 18-Mar-14 21:21:26

IhateGeorgeO -yes you are meant to leave secondary kids alone. It's best for the economy, apparently.

Dinosaursareextinct Tue 18-Mar-14 21:42:55

I'm so thrilled that as a single working mum who paid for both children to go to nursery from 3 months I now have to use my very modest income to subsidise couples on �300K hmm

Dinosaursareextinct Tue 18-Mar-14 21:47:19

In fact, I'm really angry that the hypocritical Tories are introducing non means tested benefits purely in order to buy votes.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 18-Mar-14 21:54:57

The problem with all these subsidies is that nurseries and child care providers will just whack up their costs commensurately. It is the same with help to buy. Sellers will just crank up their asking prices as they know buyers can get government subsidies. The sad truth is that subsidies don't really address the problems, they exacerbate them. The more money government gives families to help with rising costs, the higher these costs will then escalate. No one will end up being better off. Everyone will just be working harder and longer for less. I think it's thoroughly depressing really.

legoplayingmumsunite Tue 18-Mar-14 23:15:21

I'm pleased about most of the changes. My brother and SIL both are self employed and didn't get any tax relief on their childcare costs, now they do. That makes sense. Having the scheme for all children up to 12 makes sense as well since some of us can pay for our after school clubs with childcare vouchers at the moment so were going to be much worse off with the original version of this scheme.

Personally I don't think this is an attack on parental care, after all if a couple both work part time and share the childcare they are still eligible for this scheme. It does reduce the attraction of the 1SAHM/1WOHD model which leaves families vunerable to redundancy or death or illness or abandonment by the wage earner. Maybe more men will start doing their share of the childcare if it makes more sense financially to have 2 lower wages than 1 high wage. Or is that too positive a thought?

thatbitpink Tue 18-Mar-14 23:37:59

Dinosaurarextinct - I'm so thrilled that as a childless couple we are subsidising couples who want someone else to care for their child. Entitlement issues, much??

Dinosaursareextinct Tue 18-Mar-14 23:54:12

Entitlement issues how thatpink? I paid for both my children to go through nursery, on a not that high single income, and didn't get maternity pay either (as self employed, had to work through the births). In what sense am I entitled? I do resent people on very high earnings (up to 300,000 pounds family income) getting support from the state for their childcare costs. Because they in no way need it. Yet people who do need state support, eg the poor and disabled, are constantly being shafted. This is buying votes, no more no less.

thatbitpink Wed 19-Mar-14 00:01:58

Dinosaursarexxtinct - it wasn't aimed at you at all. You've done it as it should be done. I just have problems with people having children who then expect the rest of us to subsidise their outgoings. You are correct it's all buying votes. Hopefully the public will see through it (but I doubt it)

OneMileSouth Wed 19-Mar-14 00:13:45

It undoubtedly does discriminate against SAHP. Fair enough, SAHPs don’t need help with childcare costs as such, but we are very much squeezed by foregoing one income. Yes, it’s our choice to have one of us be a SAHP, but this choice isn’t subsidised by the taxpayer, so why should those making a different choice, namely paying for childcare, be subsidised?

There are arguments for and against putting your kids into childcare versus looking after them yourself, both for individual families and for wider society. But I am utterly sick and disheartened by the policy of all main parties of financially favouring those who opt for paid childcare, as if this is the only acceptable route.

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Mar-14 06:42:00

What do you want OneMile? It doesn't discriminate against SAHP, it is irrelevant to sahp. If you want free childcare you can access the 15 hours of free childcare for under 3s. What more do you need.

sleeperinsouthlondon Wed 19-Mar-14 06:43:51

We need the gov't not to choose to direct financial support so discriminatorily, GreatHunt

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Mar-14 06:45:23

thatbitpink we all subsidise each other in different ways. Were you a child once? Did you go to state school? If so, taxpayers of your time funded your education. Taxes fund maternity services provided by the NHS. They fund services that some groups access and others don't.

Some people are so selfish and cannot see beyond the end of their noses.

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Mar-14 06:58:13

How so?

When the government funds hospitals they are only funding the sick.

When they fund schools they are only funding the children.

The government provides a number of different things for a number of different reasons but overall it benefits the economy or helps the vulnerable.

Exactly what would be the point in having parents continue to pay extortionate child care costs? This isn't a free wodge of cash, it goes direct to the childcare provider. If parents cannot afford childcare then they cannot afford to work. Which means less people in work and the treasury gets less tax revenue.

Parents are always going to worse off than those without kids. The tax break doesn't make them richer, which is clearly what you're worried about.

IhateGeorgeO Wed 19-Mar-14 08:43:04

I want my CB back. We had an expectation to receive it until our children left school. It was factored in when we worked out if I could afford to be a SAHM. We have never received any other type of benefit. To take it away in effect gave my husband a 3K pay drop - our mortgage hasn't reduced and the cost of living has increased. I went back to work part-time after three years but couldn't get a job at the same level of salary I had prior to being a SAHM.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 09:29:26

Of course this is a push to disincentivise parental care.

IhateGeorge I was discussing the effect of the child benefit cut with my husband. No way, back in the day, would it have been sensible for him to be promoted to a salary beyond the cut-off point. It would not have been better for the economy in the long term to have me in a low-pay job and him avoiding promotion to a higher tax bracket. His taxation levels are now eye-watering --which I don't mind!--but it's a fairness issue; claiming this up to £300,000 income is such a joke.

Viviennemary Wed 19-Mar-14 09:36:32

If I had lost my child benefit I'd be annoyed but you really can't expect low earners paying tax to supplement people's choice to be a SAHP. So I think it was a good decision.

Dinosaursareextinct Wed 19-Mar-14 09:41:06

How does a couple earning 300,000 pounds a year need help with their childcare costs? It's outrageous, particularly in the context of the horrendous time that the unemployed and disabled are having under this Government. If there is money to spare, then use it on then or on other people who genuinely need it. But the money is cynically being directed at those the Tories think can be persuaded to vote for them. It's about that and nothing else.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 09:41:53

I'm happy for the tiny amount of tax that I pay to go on necessary government spending. Subsidising childcare for those earning up to £300,000 - No.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 09:52:14

why does anyone think they are subsidizing a couple earning £300kpa between them?

they would be paying £120k in tax very year and getting a small percentage of that back when they have children under 12.

Dinosaursareextinct Wed 19-Mar-14 09:55:42

They shouldn't be getting that percentage back, is all. They can easily afford childcare all by themselves, being very high earners. This new proposal will cost a great deal of money, which could be far better spent elsewhere. The problem being that the poor tend not to vote Tory.

Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa Wed 19-Mar-14 09:56:24

What annoys me is that all figures show 25 hours of childcare, whereas in reality I need our nursery to do 7.30-6.00, which is actually 52.5 hours a week. A full-time place where I am in the SE for a child is around £1100 a month. I am pretty much working for nothing until free hours kick in at 3 (and if you have a child who is born a day or two in to the term window it can be 3.4 years old), where I will start to get about 200 a month off my bill.

We are not rich at all, but anything that helps with the bill is a good thing, although we may be better off sticking with vouchers, we need to do the maths on that. If I gave up work, in the industry I am in there is no way I'd get back to the same levels of pay if I had a few years off, so it's better to keep going as we are as one day (in about 5 years' time) we may finally have some disposable income!

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 19-Mar-14 09:58:25

So why should you expect low earners to subsidise child care for the seriously loaded Vivienne?

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 10:01:59

If you have a high earner in a household you are subsidising another pair of high earners childcare.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 19-Mar-14 10:03:23

The same applies to CB for those earning over 50k Favourite. By your argument, they are paying for their own CB and not being subsidised by the low earners. It's funny how the CB issue always comes back to the fact that they should not be subsidised by lower earners, despite earning considerably less than 300k. However, when it comes to child care subsidies for the seriously minted, they have paid for it themselves through high taxes. Smacks of picking and choosing the deserving and undeserving of middle class state largesse.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 10:04:43

Yes Notthe it makes long term financial sense for reasonably paid parents to continue earning anyway. Later on you will reap the rewards.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 10:07:28

ihate, it's a concerted effort to get everyone in the paid workforce, even when it would make more financial sense (without government interference) for some families to have a SAHP.

The current tax system is biased against a sole earner.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 10:07:43

but those earning 50k will still get the childcare benefit. so whats the problem?

they loose cd but get the childcare help.

Viviennemary Wed 19-Mar-14 10:09:24

I don't agree with these subsidies up to £300K. It is an insanely high figure. Even with the argument that these people are paying a lot in tax already. But on the other hand I think tax breaks are different from handouts. I agree with some tax relief on childcare but not for really wealthy people.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 10:20:38

YouAre : Not every family that lost child benefit uses outsourced childcare.

NKffffffffa6d17f63X1271eeded42 Wed 19-Mar-14 10:27:17

Why is everyone complaining - its a tax incentive for tax "payers" ... why would a sahm or dad need childcare tax break!! we already get 15 hours when they are 3, jesus you just dont knnow when your well off you really don't - for the record, I am a working lone parent, using childcare vouchers and with my 15 hours now that my little one is 3 I am finding childcare very reasonable - admittedly it was hard from the age of 9 month when I went back to work to him being 3 and no I didnt get tax credits due to having a decent job - but I can see that this is fair as if your low paid or single tax credits will help to child care, if your well paid and single or married you will get basically 20% off childcare and still get 15 hours free, and if your a sahm you ALSO get 15 hours free when they are 3 - - with the added bonus of having precious time to bring your own child up yourself - get a grip everybody I am not a tory supporter but I can see that this is fair and won't be expensive to rollout, maybe a few more not for profit local nurseries wouldnt go a miss but seriously you don't know when your well off - everyones a winner in this country so stop whinging you could be in australia where NOTHING remotely like the above schemes exists!! and thats considered the lucky country

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 10:30:14

teacake - then they have lower costs.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 10:37:22


I wouldn't have wanted the government to give a us child care tax break. They shouldn't nudge us to their view of family life via the tax system.

The government finances are in a pickle. Why give a tax break to families earning up to £300,000?

Investing in not for profit nurseries would be preferable as a true investment in education for the nation. But that wouldn't buy them the votes.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 10:39:01

And a missing second income..

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 10:44:15

tea cake - and they 'miss' paying tax on that second incoem

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 10:44:51

For: the "problem" is expressed best by ihategeorge at 08:43:04.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 10:52:20

Listen we can argue about who pays more tax till the cows come home. In our case we pay an enormous amount now (luckily really and which I do not begrudge) and far more than if I had worked through on a low wage and my husband foregone promotion to the higher tax levels.

Our decisions (nudged by government tax policy) would be different today. I think that's wrong.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 11:03:28

I think you need to look at this from a govt perspective. a family with one earner of £50-60k is not making a massive contribution in terms of tax - however large it feels for that family.

the break even for an adult in terms of tax paid in one year v. their share of the cost of running the country is £26k.

if you earn more than that - well, the country needs you to pay tax and you still have a good income. so I still see no problem

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 11:09:59

I put my family before the exchequer!

But even so according to your figures the government is better off without my meagre contribution but with my partner earning a lot, than the newer more favoured set up of me on low pay and him on middling.

We have too many low productivity jobs in UK.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 11:13:48

I put my family before the exchequer!

well that how your family contributes to the NHS, SS etc. so the govt not going to do what you want. hence the situation you find yourself in.

But even so according to your figures the government is better off without my meagre contribution

no. a small tax contribution is better than non from a working age adult.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 11:18:57

My problem is with government tax systems nudging people to use childcare over parental care.

I also think tax breaks to very high earners using childcare is crazy in current economy.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 11:23:43

You are being deliberately obtuse I feel You. My DH's contribution has become very high but would not have done had I worked when children young. My tiny missing contribution from then would not have made up for his long-term reduced taxes.

My situation ? I've said I'm happy with my situation. I'm unhappy with gov. policy.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 11:24:36

they don't care what childcare you use - they care about the total tax take.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 11:25:48

Gives up...

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 11:28:57

fair enough

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 11:32:19

Ok I have to say this! Then I'm off.

I realise they don't "care" about childcare (George Osborne care about my children's development or anyone else'sshock, that would take a parallel universe.) They are using the governmental power they have within the taxation system to encourage particular behaviours and thereby increase their tax revenues. I wish they'd piss off and leave some elements of life unmonetized.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 11:49:51

but we are a democracy and not many people agree with you. or it would be on the political agenda.

you just want what suits you 'unmonetized'.

IhateGeorgeO Wed 19-Mar-14 13:19:29

I did'nt come onto this forum to argue about who pays more tax but rather to reflect my view (to any Mumsnet representative speaking on behalf of 'mums' and also in case any of the Political Parties review such sites for an insight into public opinion) regarding the unfairness of removing CB from families on modest joint incomes but now justifying why they should give tax relief on childcare to couples earning 300K.

I could argue all day about other injustices suffered by others on lower incomes and the unfairness of tax reliefs for the rich and how much my HRTPH pays in tax but I'm currently at my low paid part-time job while the kids are at school and I have to get home for when my 12 year old child gets home from secondary school.

My advice is don't give up your job if you have children, you will find it difficult to get back to the same level of salary afterwards. There aren't any well paid part-time jobs even for mums with degrees/professional qualifications (but your existing employer may let you go part-time). When your kids start school you will reap the rewards of your two good salaries and tax relief but what when they start secondary school and they finish at 3.00 p.m. but you don't get home until 7.00 p.m.

OneMileSouth Wed 19-Mar-14 13:47:10

@YouAreMyFavourite at 11:49

“not many people agree with you” (in response to @Teacake at 11:32)

Really?? I think you’ll find that many, many people agree with Teacake. The comments on here are very split. And if you hop over to the equivalent discussion on the BBC News site and sort the comments by highest score, you’ll see that the views expressed are very much against this policy.

I earn less than £30,000 and my partner, previously a SAHP, is now on a tiny part-time wage. I HUGELY object to my taxes subsidising dual-income couples, earning vastly more than our household income, via tax breaks to reduce their childcare costs.

Think of it another way. If the government increases duty on (say) cigarettes to change behaviour (i.e. reduce smoking), the vast majority of people would agree that this behaviour change is desirable. But by designing the tax system to nudge people away from parental care, they act as if this behavioural change is universally accepted to be a good thing, when no such universal agreement exists. The discrimination against parental care is gradually creeping up the political agenda, and not before time.

Dinosaursareextinct Wed 19-Mar-14 13:47:49

Apply for flexible working?
Hope that they are grown up enough to do their homework and make dinner ready for your return?
Employ an au-pair or home help?

Dinosaursareextinct Wed 19-Mar-14 13:51:08

This won't be much of an incentive to high earning parents to earn rather than SAHP. The money they earn in the job is the incentive. The cut off should be way way lower. I think this is primarily a way to give money to the better off to encourage them to vote Tory, packaged in a way that is acceptable to the Liberals.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 14:20:20

“not many people agree with you” I means nationally - not land of MN.

"I HUGELY object to my taxes subsidising dual-income couples, earning vastly more than our household income, via tax breaks to reduce their childcare costs."

they subsidise you, not the other way around. not that there is anything terrible in that.

affinia Wed 19-Mar-14 14:20:38

Lets not forget this money is being given indiscriminately to high earners IN ADDITION to the UNIVERSAL free school meals for 4 -7 year olds.

I don't have any axe to grind, I don't need childcare and I don't need free school meals and we don't need child benefit BUT this government is absolutely appalling in its incoherence.

Why if child benefit was such a burden is it necessary to now reintroduce 2 very costly universal plans. Are we in 'austerity' period or are we not ?

This is all about political point scoring, there is NO economic or social policy involved here whatsoever.

I simply cannot vote for a government with so little intelligence.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Wed 19-Mar-14 14:23:58

how many families with an income of 300kpa send their DCs to state school?

if they go private, they wont get fsm.

affinia Wed 19-Mar-14 14:27:50

Plenty do. I used to live in an area with lots of high earners (London suburb). Housing is extremely expensive. Many families use the state schools if they are good and private if they aren't. They have that flexibility.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 17:51:44

YouAre: I think more people agree it's a poor scheme outside of MN as MNers are more likely to benefit than not, being mostly parents.

OneMileSouth Wed 19-Mar-14 18:05:09


“not many people agree with you - I means nationally - not land of MN.” I assumed you meant nationally. I meant nationally, too. As I said, BBC forum posters (for example), who often aren’t typical MN’ers, are mostly against the tax break; and it’s now commonplace to hear, on news broadcasts, “critics of the scheme complain that it discriminates against stay-at-home parents”. You underestimate the strength of feeling against this, methinks - not only from many SAHPs but also from many without kids who resent it, and others.

“they subsidise you, not the other way around.” How do you work that out??

It is, in very simple terms, highly unfair, as well as inconsistent and incoherent when compared alongside other policies, as others have mentioned. Support ALL hard-up parents, not just those who opt to pay for childcare in order to have a second income.

legoplayingmumsunite Wed 19-Mar-14 18:12:37

My DH's contribution has become very high but would not have done had I worked when children young. My tiny missing contribution from then would not have made up for his long-term reduced taxes.

But maybe, just maybe, if more couples chose to BOTH work part time then working part time won't be such a hindrance to promotion because it won't just be seen as something women who aren't that committed to work do. And maybe a future version of your DH would be able to be promoted AND get the chance to develop a meaningful relationship with his children (not just Saturday fun Dad) and the future version of you would have the chance to continue working and developing your skills and take home a good wage as well as continuing to spend time with your children.

That to me seems a better reality than the version where women have to sacrifice their ambition and freedom to become unpaid skivies for their families and men have to be wage slaves to keep a roof over their families heads and forgo any meaningful relationship with their children because they spend all their time at work. Which is the version of life that was pushed for generations. You might be happy with that version of reality but not all of us were and while I agree with most of the improvements that people have suggested to the system overall I think it is perfectly reasonable to stop taxing people on an expense that they only pay because they need to work.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 18:19:28

You are making a lot of assumptions based on taxation there lego!

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 18:26:26

I brought our tax into this as a counter to the idea that it was always better for the treasury if a SAHP worked. Really I don't want government policy deciding how we run our family lives.

Dinosaursareextinct Wed 19-Mar-14 18:27:50

Do both parents need to work when their combined income is 300,000? Hardly.

legoplayingmumsunite Wed 19-Mar-14 18:32:15

And you aren't? You are talking about your situation and how unfair it is that you don't get tax relief on childcare. I'm talking about my situation and how the tax relief on childcare is very nice thankyouverymuch and we still get CB because we are below the limit because neither of us work fulltime and that people at my work get promoted even if they work part time because we've now hit a critical mass of middle and senior staff that don't work full time so they can't ignore us anymore. The world changes and taxation is a way for government to try and influence it. You don't like it because you think they are forcing people away from the choices you made. But surely that means you are making assumptions based on taxation as well, I don't hear you saying 'well, I'm going to work now so I can claim tax relief on childcare'.

ihategeorgeosborne Wed 19-Mar-14 18:39:39

Lego said "I think it is perfectly reasonable to stop taxing people on an expense that they only pay because they need to work".

Dh spends about 5k a year on train fares for work. Surely that falls into this category. Why can't we have tax relief on travel expenses too. Oh, and suits for work. He only buys them for work. How about tax relief on work clothes. Also the dry cleaning bills for said work clothes. He wouldn't get them cleaned if he didn't need to for work. As far as I'm concerned, these costs are at least as valid as childcare, if not more so. At least you can make the choice not to have children. You can't make the choice not to work.

TeacakeEater Wed 19-Mar-14 18:54:28

You have misread my posts lego.

IhateGeorgeO Wed 19-Mar-14 19:42:19

I agree, either support all parents in a fair way (working or not) or means test them all with no universal benefits being unfairly distributed (why should a 4 year old get a free school meal but not an 8 year old?).

Otherwise, watch out working families who have decided to have another child or move house on the basis of your current net income, you might get a shock when they next move the goal post.

There should be choice in how to bring up your children and once you have made that choice you shouldn't have the rug pulled out from under you. If they made these decisions to apply to children born after a certain date in the future then you have time and choice to make a decision on what to do.

Yes Lego, it would be great if parents could share the childcare and both had the choice of working part-time but that choice is only really available to people whose existing full-time employers agree to them going part-time. Also, if families were to do this, there would be a lot less HRT payers contributing to the social fund. Are you saying that you wouldn't need the tax relief on childcare though? And you wouldn't expect to get any CB either?

It's not just an issue relating to the economy either but about society.
There is value in having a SAHP, not just in the early years but also when they get to secondary school. It's flippant to say everyone can get an au pair or they can have your tea ready. I know plenty of well off dual income families who are now stressing about their oldest child coming home to an empty house (not stressed enough to be home though). A few of the kids at home alone have ended up phoning the police because they were scared by someone knocking on the front door or a window cleaner who appeared at an upstairs window.

They'll soon grow older and more confident and will soon no doubt enjoy the freedom of you not knowing where they are or what they are doing or who they are with but is that a good thing that there will be no-one around to supervise all these teenagers? (and what when their siblings join them at home alone and you are not there to keep the peace?).

Flexible working isn't available to everyone and employers aren't going to let all parents go home at 2.45 - that is called part-time working. Also, as far as I can see, this government is reducing workers rights not improving them.

OneMileSouth Thu 20-Mar-14 00:01:39

I agree with @IhateGeorgeO’s comments regarding the need for a parent to be around for older kids coming in from school too.

For me, one of the fundamental issues when discussing parental care and paid childcare, is this. The government, in its relentless failure to ignore the financial struggles facing many families with a SAHP whilst assisting dual-income/paid childcare families, is effectively saying to the SAHP that “there is no monetary value to society by you looking after your own kids”; the childcare you provide is effectively worth £0 per hour and you might as well spend your days painting your grass green. Yet if the childcare is being provided by a paid childminder, it miraculously becomes worth £(some apparently huge amount) per hour.

scottishmummy Thu 20-Mar-14 06:33:02

Any initiative that supports working parents in welcome

Dinosaursareextinct Thu 20-Mar-14 07:24:36

Any initiative that involves giving yet more financial breaks to the already rich is most definitely not welcome. The very last thing this country needs is more non means tested benefits.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 09:29:36

The very last thing this country needs is more non means tested benefits.

I agree unless the means testing costs more than just paying out the money. I want the cheapest solution not an politically driven approach.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 09:36:12

Well this is means tested, just at under £300,000.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 09:40:49

its not a specific means testing process - I think it is just using the HMRC 150k tax level (45%).

the alternative would have been to cut off at people who pay 40% tax but that was too low.

NomDeClavier Thu 20-Mar-14 09:42:26

It's more that a SAHP doesn't pay tax. When they go to work they do and their childcarer does too. It's not about SAHPs value really, it's about revenue for the Govt.

Also we need people to have children and we need people working because our population is incredibly top heavy. So they have to make both doable, and indeed attractive. Money only goes so far, tax revenue has to be concentrated to enable what the country needs which ultimately is people working.

As for the £150,000 cap if you are both working in jobs that pay that, and paying top whack on taxes, you need a many working 60+ hoes a week which in London is going to cost you the best part of £50k all in. A nursery won't provide the hours you need and a CM might but it'll still coat a bomb especially if you have 2+ children. They are getting a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost paid and a tiny amount of tax back and the high earners won't vote this Govt back in if they don't get it

Retropear Thu 20-Mar-14 09:49:56

Erm no they don't,the vast maj of my working friends don't pay a penny in tax but are now now going to cost the gov money in childcare bills.

Also you actually have to earn quite a lot to actually contribute towards the state.Many people who do pay tax actually take out more than they pay in.So many of those families on one income will be contributing more than many on two.

And the fact remains if you choose to have children it is your responsibility to look after them whether it be with a sahp or childcare.One doesn't trump the other so should be treated with equal importance.It should be left to families to decide whether they want a sahp or childcare,governments shouldn't be lecturing of engineering parents on such an important decision.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 09:56:29

How would sorting the eligibility criteria for this differ from that for CB? Apart from the obvious fact that many couples are now ineligible for CB and far fewer dual earning couples will miss out on this tax break.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 09:58:49

you have to earn more than around £26k to be a net tax contributor. i.e. pay in more tax than your individual share of the costs of running the country and the services you use.

as we have a structural deficit (i.e. even if the returned to good times, we would as a country spend more money than we get in in taxation) it is the govts priority to increase the tax take from income tax.

combined with an aging population and the need to self finance retirement, working age people, from a national perspective, need to work.

Retropear Thu 20-Mar-14 10:02:57

As the gov decided a family on £50k was rich why can't £50k be the cut off for this and free school dinners?

We have the ludicrous situation of partners not even in receipt of CB having to declare to tax so CB can be means tested soooo not getting why it would be so hard to do the same for these two benefits very rich families are benefiting from.

Also not getting why the gov begrudge a one income family on £50k CB but if the second parent was to get a non tax paying £50 a week job the gov will happily help shell out ££££££ for several children in childcare.

Retropear Thu 20-Mar-14 10:05:58

But you they are raising the level before you pay tax and many people will now be costing ££££ in childcare but paying zero tax.Most second earners I know(myself included) want part time jobs which are far more likely to be under the tax threshold.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 10:11:23

There are too many low productivity jobs in the UK economy, propped up by government subsidy.

Retropear Thu 20-Mar-14 10:13:59

And I would just like to point out that 2 x £25k jobs pay less tax than 1 £50k job.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 10:23:25

So is it just as "means tested" as CB cut-off?

I would be interested to know how much that has cost. It's generated a lot of extra paperwork. (Ponders if that may be an economic positive in terms of productivity or job creation..)

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 12:41:47

As the gov decided a family on £50k was rich why can't £50k be the cut off for this and free school dinners?

because they have not defined £50k as rich and there are different cuts offs for different benefits.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 13:05:22

They clearly have defined 50k as rich though Favourite or else why would they have that as the CB cut off? Why not 100k? The truth is, they completely messed up this CB thing and they know it. At the time, it was a wheeze to demonstrate that we are all in this together, bla, bla, clap trap. As it started to unravel and it became a massive talking point and the tories started to panic that they had shafted their key voters, they realised they had to do something. They were too pig headed to u turn on the policy which is what they should have done. Osborne did not want to lose face. However, they clearly don't want to make the same mistake again, hence the huge cut offs they are now using. Wish they'd thought about it before. I feel a bit like collateral damage to enable the tories to satisfy the lib dems and appease the much richer and poorer electorate. Been totally shafted and I will remember for years to come.

Retropear Thu 20-Mar-14 13:21:16

Oh they did define those on £50k as rich/wealthy,and knob Johnson even said all of those on £50 and above used CB to line their wine cellars and go on decent ski-ing holidays.

They can't backtrack on that now when it suits.

Retropear Thu 20-Mar-14 13:23:29

Obviously those on 2x £40k ie £80k don't have wine cellars as they got to keep it.

Retropear Thu 20-Mar-14 13:26:52

The sheer utter ignorance re how your average middle income live from Cameron's Eton crew is just utterly hysterical.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 13:33:39

Yes, £50k was considered too well-off to receive CB.

Ihate: I don't think the cut-off here has been chosen from any embarrassment on Osborne's part. He is quite clear that his government doesn't want to support the "lifestyle choice",as he put it, of a having a SAHP. All parties would prefer all parents to work and use childcare, it is favoured by economists. You are now a radical free-thinker grin!

The Lib Dems presumably persuaded the Cons to give it a rather unconservative tax break - extended right up to the income level of the people they knowwink.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 13:41:57

All parties would prefer all parents to work and use childcare, it is favoured by economists.

yes. and most people do.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 13:53:14


Fifyfomum Thu 20-Mar-14 15:14:19

I'm sorry but I can't understand why people are upset that they are not getting a tax break on childcare that they don't have to pay for because their children are at home with them.

These people aren't losing anything, they are simply remaining the same as they were before. CB I could sort of understand because it does seem unfair and SAHP with one high-wage earner actually lost out on something they previously got, but to be complaining that childcare (which is ridiculously expensive) is finally getting a tax break just seems awful self centred.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 20-Mar-14 15:25:42

Does anybody really care, what the gov or anybody else thinks when they choose their lifestyle.
I know I don't give a flying fig what economists think.
As long as our decisions as parents are right for our families what should it matter?

morethanpotatoprints Thu 20-Mar-14 15:28:19


The children of a sahp aren't always with them though, nor should they be.
All parents need some form of childcare/pre school education whatever their work status.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 15:50:27

the childcare benefit is to help parents work not help them be parents

ImAThrillseekerHoney Thu 20-Mar-14 15:54:10

Yes children do need pre-school education potatoprints. That's why all 3 year olds get 15 hours of pre-school education for free - which means that all parents of three year olds incidentally get that childcare for free.

"All parents need some form of childcare/pre school education whatever their work status"

And all CHILDREN receive 15 hours of (free) school education regardless of their parent's work status (it's not designed for the parents' benefit).

This doesn't affect that.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 20-Mar-14 16:03:02

"And all CHILDREN receive 15 hours of (free) school education regardless of their parent's work status (it's not designed for the parents' benefit)."

no they don't.

I don't get that here in Cardiff.

ImAThrillseekerHoney Thu 20-Mar-14 16:09:06

The people who are complaining about an ideological attack on SAHPs don't seem to have mentioned the new tax allowance being introduced specifically to benefit married couples with one non-earner. As it happens I think it's fair enough, even though I won't personally benefit shock. The UK was pretty unique amongst the G20 in that an earner with a dependant SAHP and four young children will have exactly the same tax-free personal allowance as a single earner with no dependants. I'm unconvinced about the married couples only bit though, and I think there would be a case for extending it in a limited way to higher rate tax payers.

Retropear Thu 20-Mar-14 16:12:36

Erm there are more couples not married than married and that was £100 a year.confused

I don't agree with rewarding marriage,You get married and stay married because you want to not to get tax breaks.

ImAThrillseekerHoney Thu 20-Mar-14 16:25:12

£200 quid a year actually. I don't like the reward for marriage aspect but I do think there's a case for increasing personal allowance for people with more dependants as is the case in most other countries.

Do you not get 15 hours at aged 3yo in Wales? I never knew that.

IhateGeorgeO Thu 20-Mar-14 17:33:44

Indeed, the removal of CB could be seen as an incentive to end some fragile marriages - split from the HRTP and you get the CB back and would probably then be eligible to claim other types of benefits too.

Re morethan...'s comment about not caring about what anyone else thinks when you make your lifestyle decision; unfortunately it's not that black and white - if you make your decision and a few years later they punish you for it.

legoplayingmumsunite Thu 20-Mar-14 18:18:24

you have to earn more than around £26k to be a net tax contributor. i.e. pay in more tax than your individual share of the costs of running the country and the services you use.

Isn't all you are saying there is that people who earn above average are net contributors and those that earn below average are net takers.

It's not as simple as that though. All of us will have times in our lives where we take more than we contribute (childhood, pregnancy, illness - isn't the NHS is the biggest expense, unemployment, retirement). There are probably only a very few people at the very top of society who are net contributors all of their lives, but most WORKERS will be paying more tax than they are taking out because there are groups who take such a large percentage of the tax bill. That is the whole point of the welfare state after all, we all pay in so we can take out when we need.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 18:29:42

the point i am making is that people who think they/their DP/DH pays a lot of tax, often dont know how much you need to earn to pay for your fair share.

so if one person works and another SAH for a long period of time, the working person has to earn a high salary to pay the fair share of two adults.

Retropear Thu 20-Mar-14 18:34:24

But often they'll be paying more than the two income equivalent(ie nearer to covering two adults) so I don't get the argument.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 18:37:37

The withdrawal of Child Benefit gave some heinous "implicit marginal tax" rates i.e affecting those at the margins who had lost a benefit.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 18:59:34

retro - many posters state that their household pays very large amounts of tax. i am pointing out that it not really that great a contribution overall when one person contributes nothing in tax.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 19:16:39

High marginal rates of tax are disincentivising.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 19:21:29

Have checked on a previous net contributor calculator website, but forget which one it was. It might be IFS. Apparently, on a single income of 60k with 3dc, we are net contributors.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 19:41:55

Well very few contributions are individually significant..

You don't have to defend yourself that way ihate!

The fact is your household has taken an unexpected financial hit by this government's CB policy. You were losers but a household of 49k + 49k were not. There is a systemic bias against sole earners.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 19:57:31

but the houehold earning 2*49 pay more tax, so thier CB is offset aganist a larger tax contribution.

they contribute more.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 19:59:01

But the household earning 60k between two earners do not pay more tax than the household earning 60k through one earner.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 20:01:27

because people who eanr less money, pay a lower rate of tax. surely that is right?

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 20:04:29

In pretty much every other OECD country, tax rates are set depending on how many children you have. My French friend cannot believe that we do not have that facility here. She was really shocked when I explained that it doesn't matter if a man is supporting a wife and 4 kids, he still pays the same tax as a single man.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 20:06:26

france - that country with a really screwed economy!

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Thu 20-Mar-14 20:06:41

and public finances!

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 20:09:38

Not just France. All OECD countries. Why are we the anomaly?

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 20:10:57

Would it not be better to be taxed less if you have dependents rather than have the state shell out child benefit and tax credits for those families.

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 20:16:28

I just don't understand why governments have to overly complicate everything. Why tax with one hand and then pay out benefits with the other? Our tax and benefit system is complicated enough. I forget how many pages the HMRC tax guidelines are, but I remember reading that it is gargantuan.

TeacakeEater Thu 20-Mar-14 20:25:34

Two earners at 30K + 30K pay less tax by far than the sole earner on 60K. Also qualify for CB and the new tax break on child care.

Ihate is right, the UK system is the anomaly apparently.

Dinosaursareextinct Thu 20-Mar-14 22:33:23

Presumably the idea is that you need a certain amount of money to live on, make it worth your while working, etc. The tax thresholds take that into account. They're not designed for one person aiming to earn enough for 2 adults. The husband earns enough for himself and then moves onto the higher tax rate as from then on he is deemed to be earning more than he needs to live on comfortably. Then it's up to the wife to earn enough for herself. Rather than giving the husband a better tax rate to allow his wife the luxury of staying at home.

comfitt Thu 20-Mar-14 23:13:05

Why should it be a luxury?

Dinosaursareextinct Thu 20-Mar-14 23:18:10

Because it isn't necessary. The wife is capable of working and paying tax on her earnings. So why should the husband pay less tax than husbands of wives who go out to work?

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 23:22:33

Taking the SAHM thing as a luxury aside, if every single SAHM went back to work, where would they all work, what would they all do? What would happen to single people who need to work but have now been displaced by SAHMs? I'm just curious as to where everyone things all these jobs are going to come from. Surely if every wife of every high earning man went back to work, we'd be in a situation where there was more inequality in income as these families would now earn even more than most and pay less tax due to two tax allowances. Surely this would make life much harder for families where no one works as they struggle to find anything. Most of the SAHMs I know married to higher rate taxpayers are highly educated, previously high earning women. Would it not make more sense for the country to try and get one person from every family into work and therefore make that family financially independent, rather than having two high earners in educated families who will then be much better off financially.

comfitt Thu 20-Mar-14 23:30:00

* if every single SAHM went back to work, where would they all work, what would they all do? *

In Childcare hmm

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 23:32:11

comfitt grin

Dinosaursareextinct Thu 20-Mar-14 23:32:33

Would you like to go back to the days when men earned far more than women for the same job, because they had (or were deemed to have) a family to support?
And women had to give up work as soon as they got married, as they no longer needed the money?

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 23:32:43

sorry, should say grin . I'm tired!

ihategeorgeosborne Thu 20-Mar-14 23:33:46

Personally Dinosaur, that would suit me fine.

Dinosaursareextinct Thu 20-Mar-14 23:38:08

I wonder whether living in those days would have suited you as well as you think. You would not have chosen to be a SAHM, you would have been forced to be one. As a child you would have been expected to become a SAHM, so your education would have been given little value. You would have lived in a society in which men were deemed capable of doing anything, and women of doing almost nothing. In which women had very little financial independence, relying for everything on their husband. Who were expected to treat their husbands as a superior being. Who were deemed worthless if they did not marry. An so on.

comfitt Thu 20-Mar-14 23:43:45

Why should I not be able to assign my personal tax allowance to anyone I choose?

As it happens I am using it, but there have been years when I didn't and there may be more in future.

If I enter into an arrangement with a spouse (particularly) where we divide the roles in a particular way, why should we not also be able to make commensurate decisions re tax? The self employed put their SAHP spouses 'on the books' all the time...

Dinosaursareextinct Thu 20-Mar-14 23:49:46

It's not your personal tax allowance unless you are earning above it and therefore paying tax - that's when the allowance kicks in. It's not like a cash allowance you get as a reward for being a UK citizen. If you're not earning any money, then you don't need a personal tax allowance, you need a job.
Do you think that everyone should have a maternity pay allowance, whcih pays out regardless of whether they give birth or not?

comfitt Thu 20-Mar-14 23:49:56

Dino I think you are confusing SAHMs (and SAHDs??) with 'surrendered wives'.

Besides we are discussing the 2014 budget so the social mores of distant decades are not really relevant

Dinosaursareextinct Thu 20-Mar-14 23:50:51

NB the self employed who do that are evading tax, which is illegal. A bit like saying it's ok to steal because your neighbour does.

Dinosaursareextinct Thu 20-Mar-14 23:54:10

I'ts relevant to the discussion, Comfitt, in that Ihate has indicated that she would personally welcome the return of those payment patterns. How people are treated, by their husbands and society as a whole, is certainly related to how much they earn. If a large proportion of women become SAHMs (long term), then I'm sure we'll see a shift towards far greater inequality between the sexes.

comfitt Thu 20-Mar-14 23:55:04

Oh come on, transferable tax allowances exist, have existed.

As I say, the self-employed and the wealthy have all manner of ways of working the tax system to their own advantage. Transferable personal tax allowance for us humble citizens would hardly break the bank or encourage deviancy.

BTW, If ever the vast majority of parents are manipulated or forced into the jobs market, it will cause a boom in (largely pointless) self-employment for the reasons I have outlined above and also because a lot of high-needs children have a SAHP and a lot of free elder-care is provided by SAHPs.

comfitt Thu 20-Mar-14 23:56:31

I can't see why an increase in the number of SAHDs wouldn't acheive the same.

comfitt Thu 20-Mar-14 23:57:08


comfitt Thu 20-Mar-14 23:58:35

NB the self employed who do that are evading tax, which is illegal. A bit like saying it's ok to steal because your neighbour does.

Not necessarily; hand a wodge of the admin to your partner, pay generously.

Dinosaursareextinct Fri 21-Mar-14 00:04:13

Not too impressed by the argument that because the rich dodge tax the government shouldn't bother to be too pedantic about taxing other people. The government doesn't seem to take that view over how it deals with the disabled and unemployed, for instance?
Someone's pointed out that lots of SAHMs are highly educated and could go for the good jobs, which would become harder to get. Maybe getting the best people for the top jobs would be a good idea though? Maybe those highly educated and intelligent women could be making better use of their education and intelligence? Do you need a PHD to look after a 2 year old? Is that a good use of the higher education that, in those days, was provided to you free of charge?

comfitt Fri 21-Mar-14 00:18:42

The argument that my degrees and IQ were wasted on caring for under 5s personally always irritated and amused me in equal measure.

It seems to me that intelligence is very valuable in conversing with small children; reasoning; analysing. High-IQ children, in particular benefit from high-IQ carers. Would you support some sort of cut off point based on educational level obtained, raw IQ score, or professional success? Only people below the bar being suitable to care for children? Besides, intellige.nt SAHPs can find ways to find intellectual fulfillment and 'keep their hand in'

As for the tax, the loopholes that the wealthy exploit are not being tackled effectively. It is cowardly and cynical to be making ideological tax attacks on specific types of normally-earning families before addressing the evasion/avoidance of the rich.

Every household with children needs domestic tasks performed, children cared for and money earned. I can't think of anything less desirable than the state intervening in how those tasks are apportioned between individuals.

IhateGeorgeO Fri 21-Mar-14 00:30:49

Are you actually a mother Dinosaur? Do you not understand the maternal instinct to want to stay at home with your baby? You just keep talking about the economy - we are not responsible for the financial mess that this country is in. I paid into the system for 18 years before I had a child. I paid for my own degree which I did two evenings a week for four years whilst working full time. I also have professional qualifications. I gave up work for three years and then went back part-time but my full time salary is 1/3rd less now than it was before I gave up work 10 years ago and I've not had a pay rise for two years. Salaries have gone down. There aren't any decent part-time jobs (outside London anyway).
Being a SAHM is a job and you'll find that lots of them contribute in other ways like helping out at their kids schools with reading or act as dinner ladies. I know mum's who volunteer at CAB and McMillan.
If the conservatives hadn't sold off all the nations assets, we wouldn't all be paying so much on energy bills, transport and housing and might have a bit more in our pocket so that the loss of CB wouldn't have been felt so hard.

OneMileSouth Fri 21-Mar-14 10:03:44

@comfitt said “Every household with children needs domestic tasks performed, children cared for and money earned. I can't think of anything less desirable than the state intervening in how those tasks are apportioned between individuals.” I think @comfitt’s argument sums things up perfectly.

Any standpoint for or against parental childcare versus paid-for childcare, based on morality, child development, parental fulfilment or whatever is subjective and can be offset by any number of counter arguments. If the main parties’ obsession with getting all parents into paid employment is purely to increase tax revenue, they should be honest and say so. Anything else they say is disingenuous.

Retropear Fri 21-Mar-14 10:16:26

What Ihate said.

Also most families that have a sahp do it for a period of time and then they go back to work.

If we as a country are going to shell out on childcare for people who don't pay tax why can't we have a proper tax allowance for those with a sahp(not just married couples).

When the sahp returns to work they'd lose it.If we're going to help with one form of childcare then why not the other ie a parent doing it?At the end of the day many parents and the children themselves would prefer a sahp if they're not lucky enough to gave granny or Aunty round the corner.

Shrinkgrowskids Fri 21-Mar-14 11:35:52

I hate “affordable childcare” because it is merely the sound-bite solution politicians are offering to sweeten voters (largely female) who are concerned about equality. It is neither realistic nor the real solution that we seek. Social mobility will not be aided as unless childcare is free, the supermarket checkout lady will still be unable to afford it. Retaining excellent women will not be helped if women wish to be actively involved with their children. With affordable childcare, a majority of middle class families may break even with salary covering childcare, a minority of middle class families may have more money in their pockets; but at what cost to family life, parental and child wellbeing? Extensive childcare passes the buck from women to children, when ideally this load should be shared between women, men and society.

Any discussions on extensive childcare should involve consideration of impact on child development not just parental career, family income and tax revenue. See this issue from a child psychiatrists perspective at:

Dinosaursareextinct Fri 21-Mar-14 11:39:56

I have children, yes. I managed to work through their births and non-stop since then, for what it's worth, while also being flexible so as to spend a lot of time with them. It did mean being very adaptable and self-sufficient.

I don't have a problem with SAHMs, I just don't see why they should expect to be paid for it. And on the whole it's not as hard as having a job, it's just a mum doing the tasks that a working mum would do in the evening and at weekends, and having some time with her child. If you're looking after 3 under 5s, that's a bit more like a job.

Retropear Fri 21-Mar-14 12:15:42

But we're talking about childcare.

When you have dc you know somebody will have to look after them- either a parent or somebody else.Both options take a temporary financial hit.

If you're not going to help families have a sahp to do the job then quite frankly I don't see why we should be helping with childcare.

Parents want choice.

Retropear Fri 21-Mar-14 12:20:13

And what is best for their children and individual family.

TeacakeEater Fri 21-Mar-14 12:24:35

I don' expect SAHPs (there are dads out there too, I've met them) to be paid.

I got involved with this thread as it's about how government designs the tax system. It is legitimate to question that.

The argument about an SAHP being a luxury, well it is argued by quite a few that children are a luxury full stop. (Not my personal view.)

I think where an income is not large enough to cover childcare and there is no long term career advancement then being an SAHP supported by a partner doesn't seem a luxury, not like buying a sports car! I suppose the state could step in, top up childcare fees , enforce low paid employment and give a tax credit top up and then take the income tax from the now working parent. But that starts to look costly to the state, profitable to the business owners though and if they move their head offices overseas they can remove their own tax liability to the UK. Bingo!

IhateGeorgeO Fri 21-Mar-14 12:56:42

You're lucky Dinosaur to have such flexibility. It must have been hard for you actually working during the birthing process though. I suspect you have the flexibility because you didn't give up your job and therefore had a right to ask for flexible working.

Can't say I completely agree with your comments re being a full time mum not being as hard as having a job - I think it depends on how much support you have arround you and if you don't have any or little and have to work too then it is very hard but I appreciate many do.

I'm not asking to be paid to be a SAHM, we've funded everything ourselves with the exception of the CB we used to receive (as did every family dating back to the 1940s until recently). I just don't think SAHP's should be penalised.

Dinosaursareextinct Fri 21-Mar-14 13:05:08

You're wrong Ihate, I set up my own business in part to give me the flexibility I would need. Haha about working while giving birth - but I did work during contractions and was grateful that I gave birth at the weekend on both occasions and picked up some work on returning home from hospital. Then looked after the newborns while continuing to run the business, until the nursery would take them. Subsequently found a part time out of London professional job (there are some around).

IhateGeorgeO Fri 21-Mar-14 13:17:00

You sound driven! Glad it's working out for you. I struggled even to put the washing machine on when my first was born - can't imagine having to run a business too.

scottishmummy Fri 21-Mar-14 13:17:02

Upon becoming a parent my maternal instinct was to nurture and provide
I didn't lose any career drive when become mum,in fact in felt more driven career wise
There isn't a universal desire it give up work upon becoming a parent,only minority do so

Dinosaursareextinct Fri 21-Mar-14 13:39:38

I would call myself a rather undriven kind of person, at least in terms of career, but needed to support the family and to keep the business going - maternity allowance in those days was almost non-existent (not great now), and business expenses continue to accrue whether the business is bringing in money or not. In fact the year my first DC was born was I think my most profitable.
I admit I found it strange that some other mums of babies who were on long term maternity leave and surrounded by helpful family members made a big fuss about what hard work it all was, when I was doing everything on my own plus running a business. It was tiring (DC1 rarely slept which made holding meetings tricky) but still enjoyable.

IhateGeorgeO Fri 21-Mar-14 13:48:16

It shows we are not all the same - there are various factors at play - emotions, desire; which can be effected by circumstances such as whether you can afford to stay at home, how old you are when you have kids and what type of profession/career/salary you have.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 21-Mar-14 14:25:46


Completely agree, there are so many factors to consider.

I also agree with SM There isn't a universal desire to give up work upon becoming a parent, only minority do so.

If you are one of this minority your reasons may be different than somebody else.

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