Osborne won’t rule out cutting child benefit to meet Tory spending target

The IFS say that incorporating child benefit into universal credit could cost 4.3 million families £1,000 a year

 

The Conservatives have promised to cut £30bn of spending if they win a second term, of which £12bn will come from welfare. However they have refused to specify which parts of the welfare bill will be cut, leading to speculation that child and disability benefits could be hit.

At a Westminster briefing today, George Osborne repeatedly refused to rule out cutting child benefit and incorporating it into Universal Credit, despite being asked about it several times.

And it’s little wonder he’s being coy about it: rolling child benefit into Universal Credit would cost families thousands each year due to the difference in the way the payments are means tested.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), replacing child benefits with Universal Credit would

‘reduce benefit entitlements by around £4.8 billion a year, since there are over 4.3 million families who receive child benefit at the moment but who will not be entitled to universal credit in the future, each of whom would lose over £1,000 a year.’ (p.213)

Universal Credit is Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship policy. It was aimed at simplifying the welfare system and making it harder for people to commit fraud by merging a host of working age benefits and tax credits into a single payment. However its implementation has been fraught with delays and setbacks.

Currently child benefit is not included, but In its Green Budget the IFS in February highlighted the plans for child benefit as one of several suggestions as to how the Tories might achieve their planned cuts to spending.

They said that child benefit should be made part of a means-tested support system for families and children following Osborne’s decision to turn child benefit into a means-tested benefit in 2013.

Today the chancellor refused to rule this out definitively, saying instead:

“You can judge us on our record in this parliament. If we wanted to put child benefit into Universal Credit we would have done it when we set up Universal Credit.

“We’ve got a track record, we’ve got a plan based on clear principles of making work pay, sharpening work incentives.”

There is still not enough clarity on the Conservatives’ plans for welfare cuts, and today Osborne tried to deflect attention away from the issue by focusing on Labour. He unveiled a PowerPoint presentation called ‘Labour Party Fiscal Plans: An Analysis’, and claimed Labour would hit families with £3,028 more in tax.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

13 Responses to “Osborne won’t rule out cutting child benefit to meet Tory spending target”

  1. JoeDM

    And Labour haven’t ruled out lowering the 40% threashold and making the 40% income tax band the effective ‘standard rate’ for many hardworking Public Sector professionals like teachers and nurses.

  2. JoeDM

    And Labour haven’t ruled out lowering the 40% threashold and making the 40% income tax band the effective ‘standard rate’ for many hardworking Public Sector professionals like teachers and nurses.

  3. MK

    Don’t incorporate CB into UC.

    Rather, create a new child tax allowance as used to exist decades ago. It’d stop encouraging people who can’t provide to have kids, and reward working parents.

  4. treborc1

    Labour is the party of working people not welfare or benefits, so when you make a statement like that how the hell do we all know what labour will come out with.

    We all know the Tories are going to be hard on welfare, but Reeves has had a number of statements from hammering down to being harder on welfare then the Tories.

    It all about who can make take us back to the golden years of Victorian Britain The Tories or progress.

  5. Peem Birrell

    Dream on. The whole point of modern politics is to destroy social structures like parenthood.

  6. littleoddsandpieces

    LABOUR IS MIDDLE CLASS

    LABOUR CANNOT WIN ON ITS OWN

    SMALL PARTIES CAN HELP RULE
    AND TURN LABOUR BACK TO ITS CORE VALUES OF OLD

    To get a secure majority anti austerity cuts UK parliament,
    needs a herd of a group of parties
    that would ensure Labour turns back to its original core values.

    There is no such thing as a small party,
    as these have the biggest voters of the poor and the non-voter,
    who are mostly the same person.

    THE POOR VOTER IS LOST TO ALL PARTIES AT THE MOMENT

    AS ARE THE NON-VOTERS

    This is about 75 per cent of all voters, lost to all parties at the moment.

    CELTS NEED ANTI AUSTERITY MPs

    Vote SNP in Scotland – get 59 anti austerity MPs in Westminster.

    Vote Plaid Cymru in all of Wales – get 40 anti austerity MPs in Westminster.

    And the Lib Dems and Tory MPs are seriously reduced in the UK parliament, as well.

    VOTE DIFFERENT IN CORNWALL

    – Mebyon Kernow in Cornwall – 6 candidates – in other words, all of Cornwall

    This is easy as the non-voter and poor voter vastly outnumber
    the slim votes that got the Tories or Lib Dems into the job in 2010 in Cornwall.

    ENGLAND’S DIFFERENT PARTIES AS MPs TO ENSURE

    FOOD ON THE TABLE AND ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD

    Vote different in England where there is a sitting Tory or Lib Dem MP as below.

    Reduces Tories even further, as they have not won outright since 1992.

    The Lib Dems got only about 50 MPs in 2010 and can easily be voted out in 2015.

    PARTIES OF THE POOR ARE:

    – TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialsit Coalition) 134 MP candidates

    6th biggest party

    IF NO TUSC CANDIDATE THEN VOTE:

    – CLASS WAR – About a dozen candidates

    – Socialist GB – about 10 candidates

    – The Left Unity Party – about 10 candidates

    NOW LOOK AT THIS RESULT BY THE POWER OF THE POOR VOTER

    59 MPs SNP,
    40 MPs Plaid Cymru.
    About 250 Labour MPs mostly England.
    And potentially about 100 MPs from small anti austerity parties of the poor of the left.

    Threshold for secure majority goverhnment is a group of parties reaching the 323 – 326 MPs and above.

    At the moment got about 300 Tory MPs and about 50 Lib Dem MPs.

    These could be substantially reduced by the parties of the poor winning MPs
    by the poor coming out to vote.

    Russell Brand is wrong is saying Not to Vote.

    The poor have never had so much power.

    The small parties never so much influence in UK parliament
    by the poor voting them in as MPs into the UK parliament.

    MORE INFO / LINKS /
    HOW THE POOR OUTNUMBER OTHER VOTERS /

    HOW ENSURE REGISTERED TO VOTE

    //www.anastasia-england.me.uk

  7. Leon Wolfeson

    You haven’t ruled out being Willy Wonker either.

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    The math is as follows; They’d need to cut roughly 30% off benefits. Child benefit, JSA, housing benefit, disability benefits.

    (I’m amusing they’ll leave pensions alone)

    That’s ALSO assuming that the need for the benefits dosn’t rise, which it will. They could easily halve in value under the benefit cap.

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    And your conspiracy rolls on.

  10. Guest

    Right, reward the rich more. Meanwhile, poverty means the poor will have more kids, and you get more poor…

    Yea, plan! Oh wait…

    “Universal except how I can make cash from it Benefit”, yes.

  11. Vicki Stanton

    Cutting child benefit will cost more in long.term .families will part divide children to. Claim more. Money and. Mmore houses will be needed. Seriously u will be spending more money to 2 families instead of 1

  12. Robert nesbitt

    i personally feel anguish as child tax credits is targeted for reduction and again causing the poorer people to be hit hardest as usual.

    the ideology of cut backs from beneficial services as hit alot of people.

    Will labour be able to introduce an alternative method to balance child tax benefits and utilise its public saving from other areas.

    How about cutting arms deals to other countries which goes in to billions but it can,t.

    so fair taxation in essence will be on a unfair level agagin 40% is a massive taxation level for anyone earning there money getting up in the morning.source://www.cahanforcitycouncil.com/child-tax-credit-number/

  13. Robert nesbitt

    i personally feel anguish as child tax credits is targeted for reduction and again causing the poorer people to be hit hardest as usual.

    the ideology of cut backs from beneficial services as hit alot of people.

    Will labour be able to introduce an alternative method to balance child tax benefits and utilise its public saving from other areas.

    How about cutting arms deals to other countries which goes in to billions but it can,t.

    so fair taxation in essence will be on a unfair level agagin 40% is a massive taxation level for anyone earning there money getting up in the morning.source://www.cahanforcitycouncil.com/child-tax-credit-number/

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