Report shows families want child benefit protected

April 27, 2012

Child Poverty Action Group has today released a report called ‘Save Child Benefit’ linked to its Save Child benefit campaign, which gives the results of a survey showing what parents spend their child benefit on and how much they value it.

The top three main areas that parents of all social classes spend child benefit on are:

1. Clothes and shoes (51%)

2. Food (26%)

3. Education related (16%)

Commenting on the government’s policy to remove it from higher rate taxpayer households, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“The policy was fatally flawed from the outset. Tinkering with the policy won’t solve all the problems and will make child benefit too complex and costly to administer, so the plans should be dropped altogether.

“Our report shows how popular and valuable child benefit is for all parents. Child Benefit is so effective because of its simplicity. If the government wishes to target higher rate taxpayers it would be simpler and fairer to do it through progressive taxation so that households without children share the burden."

On the three year freeze of child benefit, she added:

“It is just as important that government looks again at the freeze on child benefit. The freeze means an effective cut to child benefit of around 10% for all families. We were told by Minsters that children should not be left to pay for the deficit tomorrow, but it is just as wrong to make them pay for it today.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • Download a PDF of the full ‘Save Child Benefit’ report. The report includes quotes from families which can be used in any reporting.
  • Child Poverty Action Group’s campaign site can be found at www.savechildbenefit.org.uk and it provides further information on the problems with the government’s plans.
  • Over the course of a child’s lifetime, the removal of child benefit from higher rate taxpayers means a loss to the family of at least £19,000 for the first child and at least £12,500 for all subsequent children.
  • 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.