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HM Government Petition Child Benefit changes - to assess whole family income

(39 Posts)
pofacedalways Thu 10-Jan-13 12:01:21

This is a petition about assessing the whole family income, not about whether families with 50k income should get child benefit or not. It is intrinsically unfair and absurd to take away benefit from some families and not others on the same income. Please sign if you agree.


pofacedalways Sat 12-Jan-13 09:47:08

I think it is great shame that some people resent a family on 50k [who pay 40% tax who often have had to pay a mortgage or rent of 1000 pounds a month to stay near their work] their child allowance. When the very highest earners are evading so much tax, middle income families are targeted. As I said it is the unfairness of targeting families on the same income ased on who works which is the issue. Anyway, hopefully some might sign the petition. Thanks.

ReallyTired Fri 11-Jan-13 22:24:24

I think the child benefit cap is stupid as it discourages people from working extra hard. DH could earn more if he chose to go into London and take a job with more responsiblity. We are under the threshold and dh doesn't feel moviated to work extra hard as he would more than half of the extra income.

The whole thing is a shambles and will cost more to implement than it will save. I think there would be a lot of sense in scrapping child benefit and increasing child tax credits.

The whole thing is a smokescreen for the really cruel cuts to the disabled.

OliviaPeacein2013Mumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Jan-13 22:14:13

We have moved this thread to our petitions topic

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 11-Jan-13 15:52:32

Yes, it is disgusting. When I had a job where I stayed away from home, I was entitled to a £10 evening meal allowance. Breakfast was toast and cereal as you suggest. Oh but wait........they're MPs, they deserve it. That's why they think they're entitled to a 33% pay rise to 85k. They have the audacity to accuse us of being fiscal nimbys. The bloody cheek!

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 15:03:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 11-Jan-13 15:00:07

Thanks Lily! Yes, I did notice the article in the telegraph. I couldn't believe it. I shouted to my DH that I had got a mention in the DT! Anyway, you are right. They are only doing this as it affects few people and they think it will keep most on side. They've definitely lost two votes from this household for ever. Yes, I'm ashamed to say that I have voted conservative previously. They have confirmed to me in this administration however, that they are nasty, cruel people who have no idea about how others' live, let alone the meaning of the word they like to champion endlessly "fairness" !!!

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 14:53:51

ihategeorgeosborne (did you know you were namechecked in the national press this week btw?) - I only hope so. The really depressing thing is that most people think 'it is unfair, but I am in favour of it' - because it doesn't affect them.

Just like most people are 'in favour' of the cap on benefits - as long as it doesn't affect them.

Divide and Rule Politics is alive and well.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 11-Jan-13 14:50:24

This is a complete dogs dinner and I guarantee that it will not run smoothly and that HMRC will not cope. I am also quite certain that it will lose the conservatives the next election and that it will be a repeat of the poll tax debacle, i.e. many people being let off because it was impossible to chase them up and then for the policy to be ditched. We shall see.

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 14:49:10

But they can also give information about the level of income a partner is earning.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 11-Jan-13 14:47:20

The point is that they cannot tell one partner that the other partner received CB, only that they were entitled to receive it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 11-Jan-13 14:46:39

"If HMRC then discover that I did claim CB, who will they prosecute?"

Him... The onus is on the taxpayer to ensure they are paying the right amount of tax. Doesn't matter whether he received a letter or not, everyone has to take personal responsibility for paying what's due or accept the consequences.

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 14:42:04

Child Benefit Income information

You can find out two things (cut and pasted from the enquiry form)

1. To find out if your partner/ex-partner is/was entitled to receive Child Benefit during a specific tax year, please enter that year below.
2. To find out if your adjusted net income is/was higher than your partner's/ex-partner's for a specific tax year, please enter that tax year below.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 11-Jan-13 14:10:27

Lily, they are not authorised to give info about your income to your partner. I know someone who phoned HMRC and asked if their wife claimed CB. They were told that their partner was entitled to claim CB, not that they claimed it. My dh knows that I am entitled to claim CB, as is everyone with children. If I phoned them and asked them what my DH earns, they can only tell me that he earns enough to be affected by the changes. The point is that they cannot tell either partner specific information about the other. It is against the law.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 11-Jan-13 14:06:33

Tax credits are not being handled the same way as CB though. Tax credits are based on household income, hence the need for the household income to be assessed. Cb is based on the income of one person in the household, therefore individual income not joint. They are then planning on clawing it back from the person who does not receive the benefit. There is massive scope here for monumental cock-ups, particularly for those who are currently not required to carry out a self-assessment. If I tell my DH that I don't claim CB any more, he will not submit a tax return. If HMRC then discover that I did claim CB, who will they prosecute? It should be me for with holding information, but it should also be him for not declaring it on a tax return that he didn't realise he had to do in the first place. Anyway, I have made the decision that this policy is so crap as it stands, that I am more than happy to go to prison to prove a point. That said, my DH hasn't even received a letter about this!

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 14:05:34

The tax office is now authorised to give out info about your income to your partner/husband.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 11-Jan-13 13:58:27

" Once the reality of the additional self-assessments hits HMRC and all the cock-ups that ensue from that become apparent, they may have to change course."

HMRC are actually really keen for more people to self-assess and particularly self-calculate because it cuts costs and reduces mistakes. As for the legality surrounding confidentiality it is always the responsibility of the taxpayer to ensure that they are paying the right amount of tax. Claiming to be ignorant of whether a partner has claimed or not claimed CB won't be a legitimate defence.

BTW... confidentiality doesn't apply when Tax Credits are claimed. Whoever applies is required to submit the household income. If a partner in those circumstances refuses to hand over the information and the household income is under-declared as a result, then it's fraud.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 11-Jan-13 13:34:13

I am still convinced that this time next year they will change this policy. They will probably have no choice. Once the reality of the additional self-assessments hits HMRC and all the cock-ups that ensue from that become apparent, they may have to change course. Also, I am waiting for someone to challenge the fairness of this in the courts. I am sure someone will. If not the fairness aspect, there is always the tax confidentiality aspect, e.g. husband doesn't self-assess as wife tells him she's stopped claiming. Who goes to prison? How will that work? HMRC would have to tell husband that wife did claim CB. Surely that breaks confidentiality rules? It's sure one hell of a complicated mess. We'll see hmm

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 11-Jan-13 13:29:11

Many mothers who stay at home full time to care for children do have additional costs similar to the working mother in any case. Those who want to re-train or update their skills. Also those who are doing valuable volunteer work. I have been thinking of volunteering to work for the CAB, but may not be able to now as the CB would have helped fund childcare to enable me to do this.

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 12:26:43

pickety, it isn't though, and the reason is because it isn't as simple a comparison.

At 50k you have no help with anything. No tax credits. No help with housing. Huge wodges of tax to pay etc.

At 15k there is help to be had, less tax etc.

The interesting stat I like is that the benefits cap was set at 26k. No tax to pay on that. That was seen as 'difficult' when it was set, with many people arguing that it was 'very difficult' to live on that amount.

But on 50k, you are bringing home about 35k before any expenses incurred in going to work (childcare, transport, clothes for work etc). Suddenly they don't seem so different. So it is disingenuous imo to say '26k it is too low for a benefits cap, but someone earning 50k wouldn't miss child benefit'.

picketywick Fri 11-Jan-13 12:17:36

People say 50 thou a year is not a massive income. It is if you compare to 15 thou

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:12

but what if you are SAHP who can't do all that work;
maybe they are ill
maybe they are caring for an elderly relative
maybe they are volunteering in school
maybe they have a disabled child

You just can't generalise, and certainly can't make law based on assumptions about people's lifestyles.

witchwithallthetrimmings Fri 11-Jan-13 12:00:30

If you had to pay someone to do the work of a SAHP then you would be talking at least 23 grand, working parents have to either contract this work in OR do it in their spare time.
It is the cliff edge nature (the mass of people with high (40+ grand) salaries that are still getting it that is the problem

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 11:58:10

yy, absolutely, what I'm saying is that you can't generalise about what people's situations are; you can't assume that because someone is a SAHM then they have loads of time to prepare tasty food etc, or that people WOHM don't have that time.

That's why it should be done on family income, and shouldn't try and second guess what people's situations are.

witchwithallthetrimmings Fri 11-Jan-13 11:55:46

but the nanny will have to be paid for lily paid help is exactly that

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 11:47:46

no I would definitely dispute that, it MUST be done on family income. Personally I think childcare should be a pre-tax allowance in the same way that other work expenses are, up to an agreed limit, but it is wrong to give money to families who have a higher income than others who don't get it. The childcare element just shouldn't be factored in, because some families will have grandparents nearby, some will choose different types of provider, some will have work place providers. There are too many variables.

As to 'providing tastier meals etc' - I don't think that comparison can really be made either - some friends work full time, and contract all of that out - so they will have a nanny who does out of school childcare, cooks the meal, cleans the house during the day etc etc. Everyone's situation is different, and the only way to legislate is to be scrupulously fair. To pass a policy with such a blatant inbuilt unfairness is either grotesque stupidity, or social engineering, or a bit of both.

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