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Child Benefit

Volume 518: debated on Tuesday 16 November 2010

15. What mechanism he plans to use to ensure that households which include one or more higher rate taxpayer cease to receive child benefit payments. (23978)

From January 2013 Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs will withdraw child benefit from higher rate taxpayers using PAYE and self-assessment systems. The vast majority of claimants will continue to receive child benefit, and will not be affected by this change.

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister said he wanted this Government to be the most family-friendly Government we have ever had in this country. How does this proposal support a family where one partner stays at home to look after the children while the other partner earns over £45,000 a year?

It does families and everyone else in this country no good if we do not get to grips with the fiscal crisis. If the Opposition are saying households paying higher rate income tax should continue to receive child benefit while those who do not earn so much contribute towards that, it once again shows that they are not getting to grips with the scale of the crisis.

Does the Minister agree that the logic of the policy outlined by Opposition Members is that any child from Prince William and Catherine Middleton would benefit from child tax benefit, whereas the poorest of my constituents would not?

Members really should not refer to members of the royal family in questions. That is strongly to be deprecated, and it certainly should not happen again. I ask the Minister to give a very brief reply.

My hon. Friend is perhaps getting a little ahead of himself. I think all we should say is that should that happy eventuality occur, I am sure he or she will get by without child benefit.