Daily Mail

Child benefit cut for 700,000 households as threshold frozen

- By Political Editor

UP to 700,000 families will have child benefit payments slashed as part of Thursday’s Budget squeeze.

Whitehall sources told the Daily Mail last night that the £50,000 threshold at which parents start to lose child benefit will be frozen for another six years despite rampant inflation. The decision will see hundreds of thousands of families lose some or all of their child benefit payments.

According to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, some larger families will face marginal tax rates of up to 75 per cent – meaning they will keep just a quarter of any pay rise above £50,000.

The marginal rate is far higher than the 45 per cent level faced by top earners. In total, the child benefit policy is expected to hit 2.7million families by 2027, up from two million today. By the end of the period, one-third of families with young children will no longer qualify for full child benefit.

When the policy was introduced in 2013 it affected one million of the UK’s betteroff families. But the £50,000 threshold has never been increased, meaning that an average of more than 100,000 families a year have been dragged into the system as a result of inflation. Former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb, now a partner with pension consultant­s LCP, said the continuing freeze was ‘totally unacceptab­le’. The policy hits families in which one parent earns more than £50,000 a year. For every £100 in salary above that level, the family lose one per cent of child benefit. By the time the salary hits £60,000 they lose all of the benefit, regardless of how many children they have.

Because child benefit is expected to rise in line with inflation over the six-year period, those affected will lose more money as time goes on. Double income families can earn more than £50,000 combined without being affected if neither partner is paid over the threshold. The move is part of a wider freeze on thresholds which will see millions paying more tax for years.

SUCh was the outcry when 92 migrants landed on Britain’s beaches in December 2018 that the then home secretary Sajid Javid flew back from his Christmas holiday to declare an emergency.

Today, it’s not unusual for ten times that number to cross the Channel in a single day.

The Government has repeatedly promised to stem the tide of small boats. But so far nothing has worked. This year alone, an astronomic­al 40,000 migrants have made the treacherou­s trip.

Whatever the Left says, most are clearly not genuine refugees. They are overwhelmi­ngly young men lured by this country’s generous benefits system and the prospect of work in the black economy.

Suella Braverman insists she’s not throwing good money after bad by bunging France another £63million to police their own borders. But it’s not immediatel­y clear how much of a difference the home Secretary’s immigratio­n deal will make.

Yes, it’s a step forward to have more French officers patrolling the coast (observed by British officials), while extra drones, dogs and CCTV will be deployed to help disrupt the traffickin­g gangs.

On its own, though, it’s a long way off the decisive action voters crave.

The best way to beat the evil smuggling gangs would be for every single Channel migrant to be returned to France. But President Macron refuses to agree.

Sending arrivals to Rwanda would be a powerful disincenti­ve. That scheme, though, is jammed in the european courts. Or the Government could rewrite human rights and modern slavery legislatio­n, which are exploited by an army of activist lawyers to thwart deportatio­ns.

Labour indignantl­y opposes every effort to tackle the crisis, but offers no credible alternativ­e beyond letting everyone in. As a result, the asylum system is creaking.

Britain is proud to provide a safe haven for those genuinely in fear of persecutio­n. But voters want strict border controls enforced. At present, they’ve got a shameful immigratio­n free-for-all.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom