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Child Benefit

Volume 522: debated on Tuesday 1 February 2011

I have pleasure in presenting the petition of my constituent, Mr Paul Francis Dodd.

The petition states:

To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

The Humble Petition of Mr. Paul Francis Dodd,

Sheweth, that the Petitioner believes that the Government’s recent announcement regarding Child Benefit is unfair; that the Petitioner is a married man with a daughter aged 2 years; whose salary is £44,500 p.a., which is just inside the threshold for a higher rate tax payer; that the Petitioner’s wife gave up work to look after their daughter and has no income; and that from 2013 the Petitioner and his wife will not be entitled to receive Child Benefit.

Sheweth, that the petitioner believes that the Government’s proposals have two flaws; that a family with both parents earning a salary less than the higher-rate tax threshold, which could total around £88,000, will continue to receive the benefit; and that, if both parents earn a salary that is half that earned by the petitioner, £22,250, not only will they continue to receive the benefit, but they also receive two tax-free allowances for their salaries.

Sheweth, that the petitioner believes that revisions are necessary to the Child Benefit system; that the family income should be taken into account, not just the income of one of the individuals in a family; that the petitioner recognises that this is expensive, but he believes that it is the fairest way to judge a family’s income and hence its needs for benefit; that, if this is not possible, then a gradual phasing out of the benefit for earners over the higher rate tax threshold would be very easy to implement; that it would be easy to reduce Child Benefit by one percentage point for every £1,000 earned over the higher rate tax threshold; that this would still leave a majority of the benefit for those earners, such as the petitioner, who only just enter this limit; and that it would also remove Child Benefit for those who earn over £144,000.

Wherefore your petitioner prays that your honourable House urges the Government to review its policy on Child Benefit.

And your petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.