They’re talking about cutting Child Benefits for families on larger incomes.
I am against Means Testing, it encourages people at the borderline to think tactically about doing what is right for themselves, and whether this will jeopardise the help they will get in the near future from the tax system.
e.g. Two plumbers, both on minimum wage, one works 35 hours a week and spends 10 hours in the pub, the other works 40 hours a week and spends 5 hours in the pub. The conscientious one will accrue more money/savings/property than the one who spends more time in the pub. Why should the alcoholic one benefit from tax subsidised pensions, health care and child support?
I think a fairer system is EVERYONE with children should receive child benefit, but savings should be made in an alternative way.
The first child should receive £60 child support per month,
The second child should receive £30 child support per month,
The third child should receive £15 child support per month,
The fourth child should receive £7.50 child support per month,
The fifth child should receive £3.75 child support per month,
This is known in Maths as a Geometric Progression with a = £60, and r = 0.5;
The Sum to infinity is 2a (i.e. no one will ever receive more than £120, double the amount of child support of the first child).
This would encourage people to live within their means, and make sure they can support themselves before they plan their families.
There would be needs for exceptions, e.g. multiple births would obviously receive two (or more) payments at the same level for their child,
Eldest child is a twin, the two kids receive a total of £120 (2 x £60)
Eldest Child +2 younger twins, would also receive a total of £120 (£60 + 2 x £30)
Third birth is to twins, the four children would receive a total of £120 (£60 + £30 + 2 x £15)
Eldest are twins, with one younger brother, the three would also receive a total of £135 (2 x £60 + £15)
Eldest Child +3 younger triplets, would also receive a total of £150 (£60 + 3 x £30)
If this is implemented from 2011 onwards, there would be no hardships caused to current parents or families.
I realise that some people will feel this discourages people from having the large families (e.g. 4+ children) that some parents want. I would really like an Audi R8 which I can’t afford, but I don’t burden the tax payers of this country by asking them to pay for my selfish desires.
This is reminiscent of the Chinese Single Child per Family Policy, which has worked well so far for population control and increasing quality of life. This does lack the more draconian and horrific consequences of the single child policy, but at a time when we are told that there is too much strain put on our environment by the Human race, is it not our responsibility to exercise birth control and reverse years of social engineering which tells people “have children, and the government will house you and pay you more than you could earn otherwise”.?