CPAG statement on child benefit

June 5, 2013

Commenting on reports that the Labour Party has no plans to restore child benefit in full to all parents, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“It would be hugely disappointing if the next government, of whichever party, does not prioritise child benefit. There are plenty of options for keeping within the same spending envelope that apply fair taxes for high earners without muddling child benefit into the tax system in a way that will leave many parents angry and utterly bewildered when they get hefty tax bills at the end of this tax year.

“Child benefit is a lifecycle redistribution benefit, rather than redistribution from rich to poor. It means that you get more money back at the time in your lifetime when you need it most – when you are a parent raising children. Breaking this principle seems to run against Labour’s claim they will give families ‘something for something’.

“It’s right that higher earners should make a greater contribution in these tough economic times, but it would fairer and less bureaucratic to spread the burden more thinly across every higher rate taxpayer, rather than lumping it just on those with children who face the extra spending needs of raising the next generation.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • In 2015 (compared to 2010), child benefit for a first child will be worth £139.68 less a year and child benefit for second and subsequent children will be worth £92.04 less a year due to the cuts made by the Coalition between 2010 and 2015.
  • CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.
  • CPAG is the host organisation for the Campaign to End Child Poverty, which has over 150 member organisations and is campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is met.