Government wanting to cap child benefit at two kids

(59 Posts)
Loveweekends10 Thu 25-Oct-12 13:23:42

Not sure what I think of this. More punishment to those who live on benefits. Or will it make people think and have less kids.

noisytoys Thu 25-Oct-12 13:27:13

More cuts for the poor. Nice one Tories angry

Katiebeau Thu 25-Oct-12 13:28:55

It was stated it wasn't to be retrospective. Which means those on low incomes wouldn't have "perceived" advantages re larger families than the average working family.

I'm not sure either!

EdithWeston Thu 25-Oct-12 13:31:07

Well, when Family Allowance was first introduced you didn't get it for every child either. Equally nice one Labour!

TiAAAAARGHo Thu 25-Oct-12 13:31:46

What if your second pregnancy produces twins?

Bramshott Thu 25-Oct-12 13:33:14

Reading this today, I think they really think this will mean fewer children born in chaotic low-income families. Sadly those who work with these families probably know very well that it won't at all, so all it will mean is more children living in poverty.

whistlestopcafe Thu 25-Oct-12 13:34:00

I don't think it's a bad idea nor do I think its a particularly good idea and I'm a labour voter. I think there should be an exception made for families with multiple births.

Why is it more cuts for the poor - the 'rich' will get no child benefit.

I think it is good - so much child poverty and overcrowding is due to people having more children than they can afford and in a country where contraception is free and as available as it is here then there is no reason to have more kids than you can afford.

And those kids won't be paying my pension as many people love to point out - they will prbably folllow in the footsteps of their parents and be one of the families - over 50% I think in this country who are in receipt of more from the state than they pay in.

Katiebeau Thu 25-Oct-12 13:35:22

I'm sure multiple births would be catered for. Claims based on number of successful pregnancies/living children etc. Not too Dickensian.

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 13:36:50

Poorer people have more kids as successive generations slide further into poverty/despair/ignorance.

one look at any third world population stats could tell you that. I frankly doubt that birth rates have gone down in the USA since similar measures came in (although I stand to be corrected here?)

Once child labour gets brought back maybe governments will reverse their ideas... and the poor will be 'useful' again. But that's a way off.

Meglet Thu 25-Oct-12 13:37:33

The children will suffer won't they. (On lunch break so haven't got time to rant about this)

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 13:38:08

Unfortunately MadameC I don't think contraception will be free in this country for much longer. The Health Service has been privatised under everyone's noses.

And the same politicians who want the poor to stop 'breeding' too much also want to limit abortion.

Good luck with that then.

usualsuspect3 Thu 25-Oct-12 13:38:30

I'm sure the 'I'm all right Jacks' amongst us would positively love this too happen.

Their glee will become very apparent on this thread.

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 13:41:28

Yes usual, as elsewhere.

I cannot even get angry about this any more. I just feel so sad at what we have come to. A nation of spite and short-termist idiocy, frankly.

Mind you as the overall aim is to create a desperate pool of cheap labour a la currently developing world, it's quite pragmatic policy. Create an underclass of real paupers, bring back the workhouse and the resulting fear may discipline the working poor quite effectively as it used to pre-1950s.

My father (71) remembers his mother's intense fear of the workhouse. Children were kept in line by angry mothers with the threat 'keep going on that way and it's the workhouse for you!'

niminypiminy Thu 25-Oct-12 13:41:37

Great idea, let's punish the children! If you have the misfortune to be born into a family that needs benefits and has several children, hard luck!

T

FrothyOM Thu 25-Oct-12 13:48:13

It won't even knock that much off the welfare bill.

It will just please a few small minds.

usualsuspect3 Thu 25-Oct-12 13:50:36

YY, It will please the ones that are stupid enough to believe the spin.

JuliaScurr Thu 25-Oct-12 13:50:43

all based on individualism - the Welfare State embodied the idea that childrearing, ilness, old age were not the sole responsibility ofthe person dirctly affected
now all up for sale

This country needs to save every bloody penny so how ever small amount it cuts of the welfare bill I'm for it - shame they aren't touting the idea of stopping paying benefit to parents of children living outside of this country too..

Sadly though I don't think this will ever happen and people will continue to have children that they cannot provide for adequately for.

Nothing seems to be the responsibility of the individual anymore - unless you are not in receipt of any sort of benefit whereas you have to take responsibility for everything - old age, child bearing and rearing, illness etc.

It's not making people responsible for their life choices - such as not working at school or having more children than they can afford that has got us to the stage where such a huge proportion of society actually cost the state more in benefits than they will ever pay in tax and this will carry on more likely with their children and their children's children unless someone has the guts to do something about it and stop the sense of entitlement which pervades this bloody country.

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 13:59:16

'Nothing seems to be the responsibility of the individual anymore - unless you are not in receipt of any sort of benefit whereas you have to take responsibility for everything - old age, child bearing and rearing, illness etc.'

The majority do not receive benefits, so you are in fact saying that in fact we all have TOO MUCH responsibility for everything and I agree. Despite paying higher rate tax on what is not a massive salary (400 times what Amazon and Starbucks pay in tax! grrr!), I expect not to receive a pension or any free health care when I am old.

Starving a few more poor kids to death so we can bang them up in prison later will make sod all difference to that although it will allow rightwingers to indulge in vengeance fantasies. Carried out, let's not forget, on children.

PandaNot Thu 25-Oct-12 14:05:46

This is actually the only Tory policy I have ever agreed with. Working parents have to make decisions about how many children they can afford to have, money is always a consideration when planning for new babies is discussed on here. People on benefits should have to make the same sort of decisions.

Graciescotland Thu 25-Oct-12 14:22:47

I know lots of people who can't afford to have two children and have stopped at one. I don't see why the welfare system should fund someone's choice to have a large family.

I did see someone on another thread suggest that benefit should be paid out on the number of children an individual has when they start receiving benefits which seemed quite sensible.

noisytoys Thu 25-Oct-12 14:27:04

There is a common misconception that benefits are only paid to those out of work. The majority of benefits are in work benefits. And child benefit can be claimed in work.

knackeredknitter Thu 25-Oct-12 14:28:55

what about single parents? What if you have children when you can afford it, you then have to leave your abusive husband, and become a single parent?

Am slightly surprised that no one else has pointed it out, but a section of "rich" parents are already due to lose all their child benefit next April. Some may not miss it, but many will. For those with 2 children they will need to earn approx another £2.5k to make up for the loss of the benefit....not easy in this climate.

I don't think this is about targetting the poor, so much as an attempt to make people think twice. Not sure it will work....but it certainly needs to looked at.

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 14:34:36

According to most tory types if you slept with an abusive man and got pregnant that's your own fault for being a 'victim'.

Once again the impact on the child is totally ignored. It is a product of 'irresponsibility' and can be left to starve.

WearingGreen Thu 25-Oct-12 14:37:03

What if the child is the first child of one parent but the 3rd child of the other? Can I claim cb for 10 different dcs just so long as they have 5 different fathers.

I don't actually have 10dcs, I'm just wondering

OneMoreChap Thu 25-Oct-12 14:38:04

domesticgodless
According to most tory types if you slept with an abusive man and got pregnant that's your own fault for being a 'victim'.

Wow, I've not heard anyone saying that.
Still, how would that impact the benefit for 3rd child though... or did you already have 2 kids before you fell pregnant to abusive man?

GimmeIrnBru Thu 25-Oct-12 14:39:04

People should be thinking in the long term before they have a family (worst case scenario, where they may find themselves out of a job in the future) before they embark on having a family.

We can only afford to raise two children. So that's all we can have whether we like it or not. Unless we win the Lotto!

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 14:39:44

OMC I got it from another thread on here today!!!

usualsuspect3 Thu 25-Oct-12 14:39:57

I've heard plenty say that, they usually bang on about women making poor choices.

GimmeIrnBru Thu 25-Oct-12 14:40:46

I am glad someone in Government is thinking along these lines...it's been a long time coming. So many people just go ahead and have X amount of children and don't give a toss about how they'll come when their children reach the teenage years and how costly it all becomes. Get those rose tinted glasses off!

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 14:42:33

Good point though OMC. You could have 2 dcs already, and be left (as most lone parents are let us not forget!!) or widowed etc. Then have child with abusive man who may well look like god's gift until you get pregnant (often happens with abusers I hear). And presumably said child will be considered by the state not to exist because you are feckless. You had sex and didn't keep your man!!!

the possibilities for making people's lives a misery on this are just endless.

freetoanyhome Thu 25-Oct-12 14:42:39

''Nothing seems to be the responsibility of the individual anymore - unless you are not in receipt of any sort of benefit whereas you have to take responsibility for everything - old age, child bearing and rearing, illness etc.'

We could starve pensioners who fecklessly didnt save. Deprive disabled people who didnt take out special 'it can happen to anyone' insurance. The possibilites are endless.

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 14:44:12

Gimme, 2 sounds generous.

on the tax credit threads the gist from several right wing posters was that if you even claim tax credits (ie you both work in low paid jobs and have to pay rent which is pretty often silly money in this country) you should not have ANY children. And certainly not more than one.

Return of the childless Victorian servant, imho. The poor must stay pure!!! good luck with that one :S

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 14:45:29

We could starve pensioners who fecklessly didnt save. Deprive disabled people who didnt take out special 'it can happen to anyone' insurance. The possibilites are endless

freeto, the pensioners are just about OK for now as they are the Tories main voter base.

As for the disabled that is precisely what is already happening with the slashing of benefit. No insurance = 'irresponsible'= can be left to rot/ put in the workhouse.

weegiemum Thu 25-Oct-12 14:49:17

It wasn't my choice to have 3 children.

I did the responsible thing after 2 - got a mirena which I was told was more reliable than female sterilisation.

I had a smear with it in place which dislodged it and pregnancy with dd2 resulted.

I was so ill in that pregnancy that dh managed to get a vasectomy when I was 30 weeks. But it wasn't my decision, or my fault. What do the Tories want? Me to have aborted my much loved dd2?

As dh is a doctor we're losing cb in April. But I won't stop claiming as I need the HRP that comes with it till dd2 is 12. They can get it back from his tax return.

2old2beamum Thu 25-Oct-12 15:15:01

My concern is for children in care it is usually parents with 2 children who feel able to adopt children with challenging behaviour, abused children and those with special needs.These children will now languish in care costing the taxpayer mega bucks Our DS cost £5000/week in residential care prior to adoption

'According to most tory types if you slept with an abusive man and got pregnant that's your own fault for being a 'victim'.

Once again the impact on the child is totally ignored. It is a product of 'irresponsibility' and can be left to starve.

Now that's a bit simplistic. Having a child with an abusive partner does not automatically mean you will end up on benefits. I hate these stereotypes that anyone who is a single parent and/or has experienced domestic abuse is an emotional wreck who can't have a successful career and a happy home.

Also on a different note, if you need benefits to supplement your working wage then you can't afford to have another child. Why should taxpayers (who may or may not be receiving benefits) be paying more for you to have further children?

domesticgodless Thu 25-Oct-12 18:48:08

Being on benefits while you get your life back together and recover from abuse while caring for your children is NOT being 'an emotional wreck who can't have a successful career and a happy home', is it?

And yet again we value people only on their successful careers (if they felt they had to give it up for the happy home, they're to be condemned UNLESS they were clever enough to find a rich husband, I presume?)

And it isn't my assumption, I am reproducing it directly from another thread on MN today. Context is all...

Can you imagine the impact on Stamford Hill under this policy, it would turn into a slum!

meerkatmum Fri 26-Oct-12 14:02:50

I grew up on council estate in a single parent family. I've seen first hand people who have 5 or 6 children without a thought as to how they are going to pay for them. But this isn't typical.

Most people on benefits know children are expensive and require lots of love and attention so stop at two. So this new idea will only effect the minority who try and rinse the state of as much money as possible.

NAR4 Sun 28-Oct-12 10:04:57

We seem to be rapidly slipping back to the old days, when it fell to the children to care for (feed and house) their parents in old age. Clearly the best way forward is to restrict the number of children born, even to those that work, as much as possible. It surely won't leave a problem later when we have more elderly population than working people to take care of them.

It seems to have been largely forgotten on this thread that working families who support themselves, will also be affected by this cap, if they were 'reckless' enough to have more than 2 children.

laughtergoodmedicine Mon 29-Oct-12 12:12:34

"2 KIDS" idea being floated for after general election 2015

Wordsmith Mon 29-Oct-12 17:40:47

It shocks me that I agree in principle with a Tory policy confused. As long as this isn't retrospective, and the child benefit is not taken away from families currently getting it for more than two children (which I believe is the case as proposed), why should the state pay out for large families? Are there really people out there who say 'I'm having another baby for the £13 a week child benefit?'.

meddie Fri 02-Nov-12 08:05:30

So what happens if you have 3 kids because you are in a relationship and can afford them, then your relationship breaks up? Are you to be punished for that 3rd child, even though the decision was taken when it was affordable?
What if contraception fails you (my daughter is here because a condom split and the morning after pill failed) should women be forced to have abortions in this scenario?
It seems to me that this policy is more likely to punish women then men , after all he can go out and have multiple kids with loads of different women and will not be punished financially.Its usually the women who are left to raise the kids and support them.
If you are going to bring in policies like this then more should be done to chase up financial support from absent parents, as currently it is too easy for them to walk away from their responsibilities and play the system.

Xenia Fri 02-Nov-12 08:54:23

It seems a very popular idea with hard working voters which is presumably why it's floated. Most people not on benefits have the number of children they can afford. Those supported by the workers, who don't work don't have the same limitation.

In a sense we always had that. Right from the 1970s when it replaced child tax allowance child benefit gave and still gives more money for the first child than the second. That has never seemed very fair to me. The second eats as much as the first.

I am one of those si9ngle mothers supporting children alone who is about to lose all child benefit, the only benefit I ever got as I never haven't worked for 30 years, have never had maternity leave or pay for 5 children, never got a childcare voucher or help, never got a tax credit. The one thing I did get which showed may be I got something out of the system was that child benefit which is now going 100%. Obviously I willcope.

I agree with the comments above about men. I think they shoudl be forecd to have the children 50% of the time and split the child benefit, and child tax credits with them 50/50 which would also help the mmothers get back to full time work like many of us do despite being single mothers. The sexism engrained in women care for children and men work or just disappear scot free needs to be addressed.

OneMoreChap Fri 02-Nov-12 10:04:39

With some trepidation, I agree with Xenia

I agree with the comments above about men. I think they shoudl be forecd to have the children 50% of the time and split the child benefit, and child tax credits with them 50/50 which would also help the mmothers get back to full time work like many of us do despite being single mothers. The sexism engrained in women care for children and men work or just disappear scot free needs to be addressed.

I do wish people knew each other better before they bred; if a man doesn't want to be hands on raising his children, find a better father. Yes, there will be some failures. I'd also like to see far better male contraception, and men taking better responsibility. Pipedreams, I know.

niceguy2 Fri 02-Nov-12 12:10:11

How do you propose to force a man to have their children 50% of the time when they don't want to? Have police stand guard?

You are right though that there is sexism engrained in our society over the roles of parenting. I agree that in general women are expected to sacrifice and go without whilst men can swan off scot free. But I don't think this is something that the law can address. Instead this has to be taught at home. Mother's need to teach their sons to man up. In short this has to be a society driven change and not something you can address by a wave of the legislative pen.

Xenia Fri 02-Nov-12 13:40:25

I have these proposals:

1. Couples be told on divorce parents have 50% each unless the parents agree otherwise or the court decides otherwise. 50% if your default except where a by is stlll breastfeeding or a child is 13 or older and chooses which parent.

2. Fathers who disappear (more than those who want more contact and are denied it) get weekly emails and calls and texts asking them how many hours of care they are giving a week, perhaps websites devoted to their failures etc., perhaps wage deductions for the childcare cost the mother has had to pay on the 50% of days she had the children when he should where she has worked full time and had to pay for childcare.

Just a general change of ethos.

There has been huge lot in the press about this as many c9ountries have moved o a default 50% time with each parent position and it is working really well and will probably come in the UK too. It means men have to wash socks and do real childcare duties and women get time to work full time more easily and cannot so easily use chidlren as weapons after divorce.

Nigglenaggle Sun 04-Nov-12 20:58:55

I do know people who have more than two children for the child benefit - one quote I have heard is 'You can't make a living off it if you just have two' . So overall I welcome it. But I agree it isnt that straight forward. Children can't help the fact that they have numpties/wasters for parents and shouldnt suffer for it. (And before people start getting worked up, I know everyone who has more than 2 children isnt a numpty or a waster). There isnt an easy solution but guess it is something along the lines of more vouchers for healthy meals/free nursery time rather than cash to be used for whatever the parent sees fit.

Nigglenaggle Sun 04-Nov-12 21:02:12

I also take on board what others have said about relationships breaking up etc. I dont pretend to know what the answer is. Other than in that case hound the non-paying party and pound (normally) his ass until he pays...

PurpleGentian Mon 12-Nov-12 08:34:47

Capping CB at 2 kids will affect all families who want more than 2 kids, not just the families who live on benefits.
Except of course families who are now considered "rich" enough to not get any CB at all.

I do wonder how it would work though. I know a few families where the second pregnancy has been twins. Are they planning on making an exception for cases like that? Or does the family only get CB for one twin?

And another thread recently reminded me that SAHP's need to claim CB in order to continue earning credits towards state pension entitlement (up until the child's 12). How are the government going to protect this entitlement for SAHP's caring for a 3rd (or more) child under the age of 12?

niceguy2 Mon 12-Nov-12 13:32:29

IF (and so far it is an 'if') these rules are introduced and capped at 2 kids, then in your example purple your friend would only get CB as if they had 2 kids. Ie. £33.70 per week.

Maybe it would be easier for people to comprehend if they said that there is an upper and lower rate instead. People are getting too hung up on 'what if I have a third child? Why is he/she not entitled to CB?' rather than in reality what the govt is saying is that there will be limits to the states contribution towards your children.

Nigglenaggle Mon 12-Nov-12 20:04:56

To be honest if you earn over £50,000 you don't need child benefit. We don't need it and our combined household income isn't that high. We claim it to protect DHs entitlement to a state pension as he works part time, although realistically we should just be getting our arses in gear and making sure he has a private one, instead of frittering it away on a holiday abroad when DC would be happy in a campsite. We have a 3 bedroomed semi and a small/medium economical car each. Which is plenty. If we could make do with one car even better but sadly we need two. We don't plan to private school but I have confidence in the educational system in this country, and we can always help him. We can afford healthy food and we would be able to afford more of it if we were more careful about what we bought and didnt let stuff go off. We can buy nice presents for Xmas, and maybe he'll have to live without the new DS or whatever is the must have super-expensive toy this year (Might not be that I have no idea!!) but that will teach him a valuable life lesson. We arent just getting by we have a good quality of life, and would continue to do so without child benefit. Anyone who says otherwise - theres something wrong there. The only caveat I would add is I guess in some areas where the cost of living is much higher - I am mainly thinking of London where even a small house is hard to come by for the average income, the cut off could perhaps be a little higher.

purple its a good point but I guess if you have 3 kids you will be claiming child benefit for two of them so that will protect the right to a state pension as much as for those who dont have a third child.

PurpleGentian Mon 12-Nov-12 21:18:52

Nigglenaggle - claiming CB only protects your right to a state pension until the youngest child you're claiming CB for is 12.

So say a woman has 1 child when she's 22, and another when she's 24, gets CB for both, and is a SAHM. She gets 'credits' that count towards her state pension until she's 36 (when youngest child is 12). You need 30 years worth of NI contributions or credits to claim a full state pension.

Now suppose she has a 3rd child when she's 38, and wants to be a SAHM for that child too, so she's not going back to work and paying NI through work. If she can only claim CB for the first two children, and there's no mechanism for her to get the 'credits' towards state pension that CB gives her, then she's losing 12 years worth of credits and her right to a state pension is not being protected.

That's my question. How are they going to protect the entitlement of SAHP's to a state pension if they're not doing it through a CB claim?

niceguy2 Mon 12-Nov-12 21:21:54

That's the big fat mess Purple which hasn't been fully answered (AFAIK).

What seems to be recommended at the moment is that if you are a SAHP and your partner is a HRT payer then instead of giving up CB, that you claim it, bank it and pay off the tax bill with it at the end of the year. That way your pension is protected rather than the clusterfuck the govt seem to be making of it.

PurpleGentian Mon 12-Nov-12 21:30:51

Yes, niceguy2 - sounds a lot safer than not claiming the money and trusting HRMC and the goverment to remember you're still entitled to the pension credits. But a bit more hassle for the individual, as they'll all have to do self-assessment tax forms.

And there could well be a very similar mess up ahead if CB is restricted to the first two children.

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