Child benefit cuts

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The main reasons we do it as paid benefits, rather than allowances like the French, are:
a) Old fashioned sexist stereotypes that if the earner (typically the bloke) benefits from the extra he'll spend it down the pub and not on the kids
b) It's cheaper. Under a French style system where a family of 4 get 3 allowances, a basic rate taxpaying single earner family would gain by about 2500, a higher rate taxpayer by about 5000. Compared to about 1750 in child benefit. And the higher rate threshold wouldn't kick in till about 132,000!

Personally I'd do the following:
a) Get rid of child benefit completely
b) Restructure the tax system to a French style system which taxes families, not individuals, so a family would get an allowance per person not per earner. Ending the hypocrisy of assessing people as individuals for tax but as couples/families for benefits. Or a US style system where couples can chose whether to be assessed as individuals or families.
c) Raise income tax rates to make b) revenue neutral, ie the tax take remains the same.
d) Increase means tested CTC to account for the loss of child benefit.
That would result in a much bigger saving than the current proposals, the vast majority of the child benefit budget would go rather than 15% or so. It would of course piss off childless people who would pay more tax - but there are no handouts, just a fair tax system which allows everyone to use their allowance!
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Andy



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If my wife was still alive she would probably remember with nostalgia the few bob per week she got for the second and subsequent child, (nothing for the first), in the 60s. If you only had one child you were presumably not "doing your bit" towards boosting the post war population.
As for time off for fathers, we had to take annual holidays, most of us got two weeks, the lucky ones as much as three.
<Snip> Traditional rant about today's young people.... ;-)
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Gordon H
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On Fri, 8 Oct 2010 11:01:52 +0100, "Andy Pandy"

Under your proposals would there still be a "need" for CTC (if you mean Child Tax Credits) at all?
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wrote in message

Yes - for those who don't earn enough to use the allowances, eg the unemployed, low paid etc.
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For a single renter to rent a 3 bedroom house is a stupid thing to do.

A single person with WR of 450 not switching to a meter and paying 100pa is a stupid thing to do.

Lots of 4 person families have two cars.
tim
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tim.... wrote:

It might be if he wants to live alone.
If he doesn't want to live alone, renting a 3 bedroom house and taking in 2 lodgers (assuming the lease permits this) is likely to cost much less than renting a 1 bedroom house.
Or he might have lots of stuff, or be self employed and use some of the rooms for his work.
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wrote in message >> Around here, the single person might pay about the same in rent as the

He might like to have guests staying over...
Anyway the difference between 2 and 3-bedrooms is small, and why shouldn't he enjoy the amenities of a house rather than a flat?

When renting privately, that depends on the permission of the owners (who may want to move back in themselves at some point).
And your £100pa rate sounds unrealistic: I doubt water companies would have a tariff where 4 adults end up paying less than the unmetered rate.
What is much more practical is for water companies to give at least a 25% discount to single occupiers, as happens with council tax.

Good luck to them. But if they are so well off, perhaps they can do without extra benefits paid out of my taxes.
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wrote in message

It's more than I have paid on a meter in each of my last three properties so it's very realistic.

Actually I found your 450 pounds based upon RV a bit on the high side.

They aren't getting benefits. I understood this hyperthetical example to be based upon salaries
tim

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wrote in message >>> A single person with WR of 450 not switching to a meter and paying 100pa

It seems to depend on region. In the south-east, I was paying around £200pa. A friend in the south-west was paying £900pa.
The £450 is in the north-west (as clearly Manchester has a more arid climate than London..).
Probably the per-litre tariff will vary by region too. I was quoted 0.125p/litre in the south-east, but I've seen higher figures as well.
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wrote in message

The NW is a bit of an anomaly.
In the older houses the RV is very very low, but newer properties have much higher RVs for the same size house. In a newer house you can end up paying 3-4 times that of the same sized old house.
tim
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I'd definitely say there would be a problem. The family would get substantially less income even with the reinstatement of the child benefit.

That was the principle of this universal benefits. Also remember that middle income and wealthy are not eligible for /most/ benefits. However it's the details of this proposal that I really object to, particularly the "anomalies" that GO describes.

Well I disagree. £45K is an absolute value and does not reflect the actual discretionary income. In some cases a salary of that would lead to the family being able to save and, in another, it would be a struggle.
In addition children will benefit everyone in the future by earning money and paying tax. Childless people still get the benefit of this through their pension and in many other ways. I think it is right that some taxpayers money is invested in this way. You'll get better returns on this investment ;-)
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"Mark" wrote

No they won't! - we've discussed this before. Overall, on average and over their lifetime, people pay the same amount to the state as they receive from the state. OK, so some people pay more to the state over their lifetime than they receive, and others receive more over their lifetime than they pay in. But the average is the same.
So only *some* children will end up being a net "benefit", whereas other children will end up being a net "drain" on the state. The average child will be no benefit at all...
"Mark" wrote

They (like everyone else) get the benefits but also pay for the "drain".
"Mark" wrote

A return of *zero*? When you say "better", what are you comparing it to?!
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writes

PSSST! There is no such person as the average child, or man or woman....
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"Gordon H" wrote

Tee hee. Very funny!
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Oh Yes They Will. This is sounding like a pantomime now!
Let's say everyone stops having children. Who's going to pay your pension then? Who's going to work to provide the services you need/want?
We already have an aging population for which we are struggling to get enough working people to fund.
Perhaps you suggest euthanasia for elderly?
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"Mark" wrote

Oh NO they **WON'T** !!!
"Mark" wrote

It'll come from the pot of money I saved while working!
[I think you're confusing a *timing* issue with a *costing* issue.]
"Mark" wrote

That's a different question altogether. That has no bearing on whether the children's taxes benefit previous generations or not. [They don't!]
"Mark" wrote

But introducing more children wouldn't help here - they "drain" the system by just as much as they "add" to it, over their lifetime.
"Mark" wrote

Don't be silly.

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As did the woman who called a R4 program today to say that she was bringing up two children on about 1/3 of £45,000...
Anyone who is living to the limit of a £44,000 salary should heed the words of Mr Micawber:
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
This does not alter the gross unfairness between single earner families and two earner families on the cusp of £44G salaries, if Osborne introduces these changes as planned.
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writes >>Many would consider such a family well-off and might resent subsidising

No. But a lot of things about tax are already unfair. Even forgetting child benefits, a couple, each on £44K, will between them get two lots of personal allowance, and two 20% bands, compared with just one of them earning £88K and the other staying home. (There used to be an extra married person's allowance, not sure if that still exists, but I don't think it's double a single person's)
(And similarly, as happened to me, earning almost nothing for a few years, then getting clobbered at 40% when I briefly earned good money. And if you stray into National Insurance, which is calculated weekly, there are odd discrepancies there too: you can pay more NI working 4 days Mon-Thurs than Fri-Mon, because the latter straddles two weeks.)
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Only for those over 75 (or so). Cameron wants to reintroduce this - or a transferrable allowance rather than an additional allowance which makes more sense. They'll probably get this through - the LibDems oppose it but I think they agreed to abstain so the Tories would still get it through.

Yeah - like I've said before if you earn 3k over 3 months and nothing for the rest of the year, you'll pay loads in NI but get no NI credits. If you earn about 5k over a year you'll pay no NI but will get NI credits!
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BartC wrote:

Are you sure about that last bit? I thought NI is only calculated weekly if you are in fact paid weekly, and is then charged to the week in which pay day falls, not the week which contains the days on which you worked.
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