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Should child benefit be means tested?

(232 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Sep-09 10:16:43

There's a new report from the Tax Payers' Alliance which recommends means testing for child benefit - possibly scrapping it for households with an income of more than £50 000. Channel Five Live would like to know what mums think of the idea?

(Am going on at 11)

fircone Fri 11-Sep-09 10:18:59

***** NO!!!!!!!

Malkuth Fri 11-Sep-09 10:19:58


Drusilla Fri 11-Sep-09 10:20:59

I think it will cost more to administer than will be saved

Weegle Fri 11-Sep-09 10:21:11

No I don't think it should - certainly not if the threshold is £50k. Maybe if it was £75k+ otherwise yet again it's the middle band of earners who are squashed out and lose out - making them feel worse off (or in practice getting the same expendable income) as lower earners.

Uriel Fri 11-Sep-09 10:21:31


MadameCastafiore Fri 11-Sep-09 10:22:52

Bloody Hell NO!

Nyx Fri 11-Sep-09 10:23:23


geordieminx Fri 11-Sep-09 10:23:40

Yeah, why not, I mean we earn over £50k, we're minted - so minted that we dont quailfy for need any tax credits or anything - another £80 month isnt going to make much difference hmm

Bastard government

Rindercella Fri 11-Sep-09 10:24:22

No, I don't think it should be means tested.

A total household income of £50k is not that much, especially if you live in London/the South East.

There may be other things which could be scrapped or means tested - the healthy eating allowance for pregnant women is one that springs immediately to mind.

purpleflower Fri 11-Sep-09 10:24:30

No, the backlog of dealing with claims is bad enough already! I have to wait for 12 weeks to change it from my EXP's name to mine, until then I am living on nothing. If it was means tested it would be a much longer process leaving me more screwed than I am now even though I would be entitled to it.

Wonderstuff Fri 11-Sep-09 10:25:40

No. Thing with CB is that it is paid directly to the carer. I think that in some households it is the only money the woman has control of. There was a thead earlier in the week where this womans dh treated all his earnings as his personal money leaving his wife to manaage the household on cb and ctc, she didn't even know how much he earnt. I don't imagine she is alone. Now maybe this isn't the states problem, but I think that it is an important thing to many women who don't/can't afford to work due to their dh's income.

daftpunk Fri 11-Sep-09 10:25:51


fircone Fri 11-Sep-09 10:26:18

How could it be fair? It's not like income tax, which is tapered. There would be an all or nothing cut-off point so someone earning £1 less than you would qualify and you wouldn't.

rubyslippers Fri 11-Sep-09 10:26:25

absolutely not - for all the reasons the PPs have said

DailyMailNameChanger Fri 11-Sep-09 10:28:42

Depends, would it mean that it would go up for those at the bottom enf of the scale who currently live on next to nothing?

I do agree that £50k is not really that much though - even if it sounds a lot to some of us!

gorionine Fri 11-Sep-09 10:28:59

What is the healthy eating allowance for pregnant women? I have 4dcs and never heard of it!

To answer the question I do not think it should be mean tested.

GrinnyPig Fri 11-Sep-09 10:30:22


pigsinmud Fri 11-Sep-09 10:30:35

You don't have to apply for it if you think you don't need it .....

EldonAve Fri 11-Sep-09 10:30:51


SingingBear Fri 11-Sep-09 10:31:32

Message withdrawn

heavenstobetsy Fri 11-Sep-09 10:33:27

good lord no! I am sick and tired of the government assuming we are totally loaded when we certainly aren't!! Every other benefit is means tested, this is the one small bit of support we get!!!

If you want something back, scrap the healthy eating maternity grant! Does anyone EVER spend it on fruit hmm

Carrotfly Fri 11-Sep-09 10:35:31

I think it probably should, but £50K is too low. It should be more like double that figure.

Otoh, DH thinks he pays waaay too much in taxes anyway and is adamant we claim it, and we do even though we could manage well without it.

I've no idea how much it is blush

Rhian82 Fri 11-Sep-09 10:36:34

I think the reasoning behind it has always been that it would cost more to administer means testing than it would save in richer households not getting it.

Usual TPA rubbish going for a headline and rubbishing the government with no actual thought about the costs.

We hardly qualify for any means testing stuff (though household income is less than £50k). We have half-decent incomes, but have a lot of debt, meaning a lot of outgoings. Means testing never takes this into account, even when debt has been run up in pursuit of the higher incomes they do take into account. Child Benefit is a lifesaver for us, it goes towards rent, bills, food…

JulesJules Fri 11-Sep-09 10:37:25

Absolutely NO. For all the reasons stated above, mainly the cost of administering it - more civil servants, with salaries and pensions to be funded - surely would outweigh any savings made.

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