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But but but, you mean I have to pay for my own children? Don't you know how much pony lessons cost?

When the new Labour leader, Ed Miliband, said last week that he wanted to defend the "squeezed middle" in Britain, he couldn't have imagined that the Tories would offer him such a glaring example so quickly.

When I heard on the radio this morning that George Osborne was removing child benefit from high earners, I winced, thinking that the £1,000 per year to be taken away would be a bit of a blow to those on salaries over £44,000. As his mantra goes, "we're all in this together", so it may be a price worth paying in order to reduce Britain's budget deficit.

But when I later discovered that benefits would be cut for all children, not just the first, I realised that this would be both hugely painful – and go against all that the Tories claim to support.

Child benefit is currently paid at £20.30 per week for the first child (equivalent to £1,055 per year, tax free). For each subsequent child, the mother receives £13.40 per week (£697 a year). So, for a family with three children, the mother receives £2,450 per year; for four children, £3,145; and for five children £3,840. In other words, if you're a high-rate taxpayer with three children, Osborne would take away the equivalent of over £4,000 in gross salary. And for each subsequent child it would be another £1,000 equivalent.

For the super-rich, or even those earning over £100,000, this may be an affordable pay cut. But for those earning just above the £44,000 mark, it will have massive implications.

Some may believe that, to a high earner, child benefit is a luxury.

But I have five children, and I know just how difficult it is to make ends meet with a larger family. Children are hugely expensive – and child benefit is the state's way of acknowledging the financial hit to parents, and making a small contribution to offset it. For larger families, costs such as clothes and food multiply. It costs £240 per term for my three older children to travel to senior school, for example. And even little things like swimming classes, football practice and music lessons all mount up when multiplied: not to mention the "luxuries" like eating out (one family meal at McDonald's: £20), or the annual holiday (flights out of the question). :lol:

And to those living in the south of England, or in northern conurbations like Manchester, the inflated cost of housing cannot be ignored.

In addition, large families are more likely to have one parent at home. Be it help with homework, attending school open evenings and plays, or visits to the doctor/dentist, larger families are hugely time-consuming too, and given that raising children requires lots of love, effort and energy, most parents want to be able to give their youngsters the support they need.

So the fact that parents don't lose out if they both work and earn under £44,000 will not help most large families.

The bizarre maths of Osborne's proposal is that if someone with five children earns £44,000, and they're given a £1,000 pay rise, they'll receive an extra £600 net income, and have £3,800 in benefits taken away.

Osborne said in his speech that the logic underpinning his universal benefit plans was to create "a welfare state where it always pays to work". His child benefit proposals do exactly the opposite. What message is he sending out to the hardworking families he claims to want to support? What kind of incentive is this for those with aspirations?

And he also dealt a blow to poorer families when he announced a cap on benefits – which will hit those with more children the hardest.

Ironically, the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, was speaking today at a Conservative party conference fringe debate entitled: "We're going to make this the most family friendly country in Europe."

Duncan Smith has four children, so he should know the impact of the changes. But after giving his speech, in which he made no mention of them, he rushed off without taking questions. I caught up with him as he was getting into his taxi and asked his thoughts: he simply shrugged his shoulders and said that we're living in difficult times and have a huge national debt to sort out. When I pressed him he said dismissively that £44,000 is twice the national average salary, and then sped off. That statistic may be correct, but it doesn't mean that those on this income are swimming about in disposable income – in fact, it's likely that those with large families are barely keeping their heads above the water.

I'm not trying to say that high earners should be untouched: in fact, if the benefit cut applied to the first child only I think it would be painful, but fair. However, not since China's one-child rule has there been such a penalty for having kids. :lol:

In one fell swoop Osborne and Duncan Smith have meted out a tax on aspiration, and a tax on the family. They must reverse it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/04/osborne-child-benfit-war-families

Brilliant - the Tories tax the better off and a Guardian writer (a Guardian writer!) moans about it! What would happen if they raise income tax? "I'm all for the revolution comrade, but that means cancelling Tarquin's piano lessons!"

:lol::o:(

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You really couldn't make it up could you?

Graundian hand-wringing middle class whinger incarnate. They are beyond parody.

I mean, what about the music lessons? Surely the state should be funding that???

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They are beyond parody.

For a second, I thought it must be a joke. But it would appear not. Some credit to the man, he did appear below the line to begin with, but appears to have run away. Cannot remember seeing a comments thread in the Guardian so united in disgust.

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But I have five children, and I know just how difficult it is to make ends meet with a larger family. Children are hugely expensive – and child benefit is the state's way of acknowledging the financial hit to parents, and making a small contribution to offset it. For larger families, costs such as clothes and food multiply. It costs £240 per term for my three older children to travel to senior school, for example. And even little things like swimming classes, football practice and music lessons all mount up when multiplied: not to mention the "luxuries" like eating out (one family meal at McDonald's: £20), or the annual holiday (flights out of the question).

I was going on the defensive until I read that.

Truly unbelievable!

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And to those living in the south of England, or in northern conurbations like Manchester, the inflated cost of housing cannot be ignored.

it's to$$ers like you that drive the prices up

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This reminds me of the idignation peddled by the MSM over the proposed capital gains tax increase. They'll find a few individual cases and try to spin it in such a way so as to encourage the general public share their outrage, when in actuality only a minority of the general public will be affected. Whereas the majority of those in the media will.

I was watching BBC news when it was first announced and they have already begun with their 'lobbying'.

Sadly, as with the CGT, I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't at least watered down before its implemented.

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Although i must admit, sometimes i think it would be easier to double all taxes than cut benefits.

People seem to prefer the government stealing off you, then giving some back, rather than just stealing less in the first place.

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Do they charge for football practice these days? :lol:

The guy is an excellent illustration of why they are going to means test CB. It should be helping to pay for nappies, school clothes and food, not music lessons or his holidays in Tuscany. :rolleyes:

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Hilarious. Hope all the CiFers that earn below the threshold i.e. most people, weigh in and slaughter the whiner. Why should Tesco shelf stackers subsidise his overproductive loins? Its like that 'middle class complaints' hashtag on twitter.

maxsceptic1

4 October 2010 8:38PM

Next article: Why I should fund Mr Harker's gym subscription.

Dakka

4 October 2010 11:14PM

I resent working my backside off (for considerably less than a Guardian journalist's wage) only to see my taxes go out to the likes of you, sat there with your hand out for free money to supplement your kids' music lessons.

Unbelievable

________

:lol:

Edited by Mancghirl

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Surely, if you can't afford to have kids without asking for hand outs from others, you shouldn't plan on having them?

The reasons given in the OP are laughable too. McDonalds?! Music lessons?! Give me strength! :angry:

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This is all playing rather well for Osborne; I mean, the dominant picture of him is taking benefits away from middle class whingers like this when Labour would much prefer a picture of some disabled bloke being thrown on the street.

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I wonder if the owners of the Grauniad have invested heavily in a drug company that produces hypertension medication as the Daily Wail owners appear to have done?

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What news of Mumsnet?

Jaysus, it'll be in meltdown. Some of them will have to cancel the next Waitrose delivery.

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For the super-rich, or even those earning over £100,000, this may be an affordable pay cut.

So we should pity the poor £90,000 earning journalist living hand-to-mouth? The article reads like special pleading for a pay rise from the Guardian.

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And to those living in the south of England, or in northern conurbations like Manchester, the inflated cost of housing cannot be ignored.

Probably unintentionally, the writer has hit the nail on the head. One of the reasons that taxpayers have to fund so many social programs is that house prices and associated rents are simply too high relative to incomes.

If house prices and rents were to fall by 50% to-morrow, a few would suffer massively but, as a society, we would be much better off. Suddenly the child tax benefits being lost (amongst others) would no longer be that material in an environment of affordable living expenses.

We get back to the question posed a while ago : "Are the Tories deliberately trying to engineer a house price crash?". The only sustainable answer has to be yes. There is no way that all of their policy prescriptions can withstand stable let alone rising house prices without massive and destructive social upheaval. Getting the timing right is a huge challenge.

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My mother lost her husband and my Sister and I lost our father aged 7 and 6 in 1949.

She received a paltry widows pension of £3 per week and family allowance of seven shillings and sixpence per week ( 37.5p )just for me as the second child.

Today people whinge and whine how unfair it is that their child credits are to be stopped.

On the radio today one women complained that she will now be unable to put the money aside to give to her child in the future.

Well love I always thought the allowance, tax credit, or any other name you put to it was to help to clothe and feed your b***y child. :angry:

I received free school meals at school but when my sister aged 15 went to work the free school meals were stopped so my sister had to pay my Mother the seven and six a week to make up her loss.

And they think they are hard done by today, it`s about time they got a f****** life. :rolleyes:

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So we should pity the poor £90,000 earning journalist living hand-to-mouth? The article reads like special pleading for a pay rise from the Guardian.

Be fair. Music lessons for 5 kids can't be cheap. A man might have to forego 3 foreign holidays a year.

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So we should pity the poor £90,000 earning journalist living hand-to-mouth? The article reads like special pleading for a pay rise from the Guardian.

...just proves what a garbage can that paper is..... :rolleyes:

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  • 197 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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