'Cap benefit at four children' plan

A think tank has suggested capping child benefit payments at four children

A think tank has suggested capping child benefit payments at four children

Published in Sport © by

Parents should only be able to claim child benefit for four children under a think tank's plans to trim £1 billion from the welfare bill.

The plan put forward by the right-of-centre Policy Exchange would see payments reduced for each child after the first, with no child benefit at all for fifth and subsequent children born after April 2016.

An opinion poll commissioned by the think tank found that more than two thirds of people would support capping child benefit at four children.

For households with no one earning more than £50,000 child benefit is paid at £20.50 a week for the oldest child, and £13.55 for any additional children.

Unless there is a change in policy the think tank forecast those rates would increase to £22.40 and £14.85 in 2019/20.

But under the Policy Exchange plans, child benefit rates would continue to rise until the end of the next parliament at a rate of 1% for the first and third child of a household and by 2% for the second child.

The weekly payment for a fourth child would remain at the 2015/16 level of £13.70 and the benefit would be scrapped altogether for fifth and subsequent children born after April 2016.

This would mean that in 2019/20 the weekly rate would be £21.50 for the first child, £14.85 for the second, £14.30 for the third and £13.70 for the fourth.

The plan is based on research which suggests that the arrival of the first child has the largest impact on family finances but with each additional child the marginal cost falls.

The proposed changes to child benefit, which could save £1 billion over the course of the next parliament, are contained in a forthcoming Policy Exchange report on the welfare system, which is aimed at showing how savings could be made between 2015 and 2020.

George Osborne has indicated that he wants to cut £12 billion a year off the welfare bill.

A YouGov poll for Policy Exchange found 67% thought that people who have four children should not receive extra child benefit if they had a fifth, with 20% saying they should and 13% unsure.

The Policy Exchange report's author Steve Hughes said: "The Chancellor has suggested that annual welfare savings of £12 billion will have to be found to avoid further and faster cuts to departmental budgets.

"Choosing where this money comes from is not easy, but with such high levels of public support, capping child benefit at four children and re-designing payment levels offers a very real opportunity to generate some much needed savings in the fairest way possible."

:: YouGov surveyed 2,095 British adults online on July 3-4. Data were weighted to be representative of all British adults.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told LBC radio: "I think you should always look at the benefit system and there will need to be further reforms of the benefit system.

"In the past the Conservatives said it shouldn't be more than two children, now there's a report that says four. It keeps chopping and changing.

"I'm very happy to continue to look at these things. I just don't like the whiff of Chinese-style policy that says the state will give you support for one child but not two children or whatever numbers are coming up.

"You need to ask the Conservatives what their policies are and we will come up with our own in the months to come for our own manifesto as well."

Comments (7)

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9:55am Thu 17 Jul 14

jimmysmith says...

Trim one billion a year and yet cameron the traitor gives one billion a month .yes thats one billion a month to sudan in supposed aide .the prime minister of sudan a wanted war criminal puts over forty per cent of it into his coffers and god only knows where the rest goes ,
Trim one billion a year and yet cameron the traitor gives one billion a month .yes thats one billion a month to sudan in supposed aide .the prime minister of sudan a wanted war criminal puts over forty per cent of it into his coffers and god only knows where the rest goes , jimmysmith
  • Score: 1

10:51am Thu 17 Jul 14

RealLivin says...

Family allowance according to one source was originally taken from the mans wages at source (tax) and given to the mother as a benefit so when the man drank his wages on the way home the mother could still feed the kids. If this is true then family allowance was never a state benefit, and while you have the freedom to have as many kids as you want you dont have the right to expect every one else to pay for them.
Family allowance according to one source was originally taken from the mans wages at source (tax) and given to the mother as a benefit so when the man drank his wages on the way home the mother could still feed the kids. If this is true then family allowance was never a state benefit, and while you have the freedom to have as many kids as you want you dont have the right to expect every one else to pay for them. RealLivin
  • Score: 3

12:55pm Thu 17 Jul 14

welshmen says...

Just to add a further option to this child benefit cap, a lesser cap for Immigrant families to two children, while four for British born and bred, stop the multi-child immigrant families coming here for the easy life at our expense, we are full too busting, Schools, Doctors, NHS Housing, welfare, we have to draw a line somewhere, other wise millions will still come here....
Just to add a further option to this child benefit cap, a lesser cap for Immigrant families to two children, while four for British born and bred, stop the multi-child immigrant families coming here for the easy life at our expense, we are full too busting, Schools, Doctors, NHS Housing, welfare, we have to draw a line somewhere, other wise millions will still come here.... welshmen
  • Score: 3

5:41pm Thu 17 Jul 14

northern pig says...

How about stopping child allowance for migrants children who do not reside in the UK. It is open to abuse and should not be allowed. I feel, It should be limited to two children per couple anyway .I watched a tv documentary on tv this week an eastern european extended family ,that were all living in the Uk were claiming child benefit for 11 kids !!
How about stopping child allowance for migrants children who do not reside in the UK. It is open to abuse and should not be allowed. I feel, It should be limited to two children per couple anyway .I watched a tv documentary on tv this week an eastern european extended family ,that were all living in the Uk were claiming child benefit for 11 kids !! northern pig
  • Score: 3

6:04pm Thu 17 Jul 14

jimmysmith says...

northern pig wrote:
How about stopping child allowance for migrants children who do not reside in the UK. It is open to abuse and should not be allowed. I feel, It should be limited to two children per couple anyway .I watched a tv documentary on tv this week an eastern european extended family ,that were all living in the Uk were claiming child benefit for 11 kids !!
and his brothers and sisters will be claiming for the same kids in a different part of the county .
[quote][p][bold]northern pig[/bold] wrote: How about stopping child allowance for migrants children who do not reside in the UK. It is open to abuse and should not be allowed. I feel, It should be limited to two children per couple anyway .I watched a tv documentary on tv this week an eastern european extended family ,that were all living in the Uk were claiming child benefit for 11 kids !![/p][/quote]and his brothers and sisters will be claiming for the same kids in a different part of the county . jimmysmith
  • Score: 3

9:47pm Thu 17 Jul 14

OldBiddyFrom Barney says...

I believe the way forward is to stop benefits being paid as cash into bank accounts. The parent should get vouchers and be able to get rations for the children I don't want any child to go without food or warm clothing it is not their fault if they are baby no6 but I a sick of seeing benefit money going on fags, booze and, scratch cards
I believe the way forward is to stop benefits being paid as cash into bank accounts. The parent should get vouchers and be able to get rations for the children I don't want any child to go without food or warm clothing it is not their fault if they are baby no6 but I a sick of seeing benefit money going on fags, booze and, scratch cards OldBiddyFrom Barney
  • Score: 0

11:19pm Thu 17 Jul 14

jimmysmith says...

OldBiddyFrom Barney wrote:
I believe the way forward is to stop benefits being paid as cash into bank accounts. The parent should get vouchers and be able to get rations for the children I don't want any child to go without food or warm clothing it is not their fault if they are baby no6 but I a sick of seeing benefit money going on fags, booze and, scratch cards
thats the american way .just drive the less well of further into the dirt .and you just assume that every one who claims child benefits ,spends it on fags booze and scratch cards hhhhmmmm ..il give you a tip dear .donr swallow all that negative propaganda about the working classes .do a little research .youl see the vast majority are the best parents about
[quote][p][bold]OldBiddyFrom Barney[/bold] wrote: I believe the way forward is to stop benefits being paid as cash into bank accounts. The parent should get vouchers and be able to get rations for the children I don't want any child to go without food or warm clothing it is not their fault if they are baby no6 but I a sick of seeing benefit money going on fags, booze and, scratch cards[/p][/quote]thats the american way .just drive the less well of further into the dirt .and you just assume that every one who claims child benefits ,spends it on fags booze and scratch cards hhhhmmmm ..il give you a tip dear .donr swallow all that negative propaganda about the working classes .do a little research .youl see the vast majority are the best parents about jimmysmith
  • Score: 0
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