Should child benefit be means tested?

in Money Saving Polls
118 replies 9.4K views
Poll Title: Poll started 3 October 2006: Should child benefit be means tested? Child benefit of £900 a year is paid for a family’s first child and £600 for each subsequent child. This applies whether you're Richard Branson, Victoria Beckham or Vicky Pollard (well it would if she were real); it doesn't depend on wealth or income at all. So should we ensure there's money for all or focus it where it’s most needed?

A. Means test it - Give more to those who really need it
B. For all - All children should be treated equally

Vote here or click reply to discuss


  • All children should be treated equally and they should raise it IMO.
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  • LoopLoop Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    They should raise it for poorer people.

    I honestly think bearing children is a choice for 99.9% of people. If you have money you should fund it more out of our own pocket, but also people who have a low income should be given more so their children can live decent childhood's its amazing how many still live below the poverty line.
    :wall:Crazy Nutters Club Member 003 :wall:
  • Lola23Lola23 Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    Bake Off Boss!
    I think they should raise the amount and all children should get it.

    It is to benefit them in the long run and it does make a difference to an awful lot of people.
    :hello: Never say Never :smileyhea
  • cotsvalecotsvale Forumite
    397 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I think that it should be for everyone but with an option to opt out for those who are wealthy and have a conscience. Perhaps they could choose to have it re directed to the NSPCC?
  • I think there's an option missing in this poll. The problem with means-tested benefits is that they have a poor take-up, so that many people entitled to them don't actually get them. So I'm very much in favour of universal benefits.

    But why not make them taxable? That way, higher-rate tax-payers would get less net benefit. So my vote goes for:

    (3) For all, but make it taxable
  • FranFran Forumite
    11.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Ah.... Child Benefit. :mad:

    If the parents split up both should receive it and at the same amount (to stop parents deliberately trying to get extra nights in order to get more child benefit). This is crucial if the "absent parent" (absent? don't they exist any more?) is on a low income or need to claim income related benefits. At the moment the absent parent, even if they care for the child 3 days a week or every other week, gets no help towards caring for the child as far as benefits are concerned and the "parent with care" gets all the extras.

    If the extra money for this means the well off don't get Child Benefit, I'm happy with that.
    The problem with means-tested benefits is that they have a poor take-up, so that many people entitled to them don't actually get them.
    Everyone should still be automatically sent a form when having a baby, the deciding factor would be simple, a cut off point where you don't receive it if you have an income above £x.
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • astonsmummyastonsmummy Forumite
    14.2K Posts
    I got my child benefit form in my bounty pack from hospital when i had DS
    :j Baby boy Number 2, arrived 12th April 2009!:j
  • LoopLoop Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Taxing it depending on your income is a good idea to enable it to be more accurately means tested....

    I recieve a means tested benefit in the way of CTC and look at the mess of that!
    :wall:Crazy Nutters Club Member 003 :wall:
  • I don't think it should be means tested - in fact I think that no-one should get it. I have always thought it would be a better idea to give all children free school meals, at least then the children would definitely get the benefit!
  • blondie7blondie7 Forumite
    377 Posts
    I think all should get it, personally its about the only fair benefit around where everyone is classed as the same and why not we are all parents no matter how much money we have or have not which ever the case may be.
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