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‘In it together’ – Child Benefit to be Scrapped

David Cameron faces further criticism today over plans to scrap child benefit for higher tax payers.

Any couples where one parent earns about £44,000 will be affected. Any couples with both parents earning over £80,000 would keep the benefit.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the planned cuts for 2013 yesterday saying that it was a ‘big decision’. Mr Osborne said: “When we’re asking so much of so many people across society I think it is a fair measure.”

The coalition government says that reductions in government spending are crucial if it is reduce the budget deficit and these child benefit cuts would save around £1 billion a year.

At the moment parents are paid child benefits of £20.30 a week for the eldest child and £13.40 for subsequent children. Child benefit payments continue until the age of 19 for those in full-time education.

Families with three children will not be eligible to receive child benefit and face being around £2,500 a year worse off.

Unsurprisingly there has been widespread criticism to these planned cuts because single parents and couples on modest incomes would be affected most. The change is estimated to affect about 1.2 million families.

Mr Osborne continued: “It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly.”

“But given the scale of the debts Labour’s left us with, and given they’ve left us with no plan and we’ve had to come up with proposals, we think this is fair.”

“It means we’re all in this together. Each part of society is going to be making a contribution”

However, critics say the move will further penalise people on relatively modest incomes. Paul Noon, general secretary of the Prospect union, said: “They’re not people who are rich.”

“They are people who pay their taxes, they are people that work hard and need this sort of income to keep families together and support children.”

Speaking on yesterdays ‘Today programme’ on BBC Radio 4, Martin Narey, chief executive of Barnardos, said “There are already many families living in poverty where dad and mum are in full-time work, they have teenage children, very many of them still a long way from a reasonable living standard.”

“To take away child benefit from them just because their kids are 14 to 15, would be foolish and very damaging. It would certainly plunge many more families into poverty.”

Craig Gedey, Marketing Manager at Debt Advisory Line said: “For families who rely on child benefit payments to make ends meet every month this cut will obviously come as a major blow to their finances.”

“Unfortunately in many circumstances families living in poverty also struggle to manage their finances and could fall into debt.”

“Anyone struggling to keep up with repayments on loans or credit cards should seek professional debt management advice as soon as possible.”

“At Debt Advisory Line we help people manage their debts and we offer expert debt advice on all debt solutions available to people living in the UK.”

Visit www.debtadvisoryline.co.uk or call 0800 157 7254 today for more details.