Benefit row is looming

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CHILD benefit reforms will be questioned today.

Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods will challenge the Government’s changes in a Westminster Hall Debate.

She said: “It is ludicrous to implement such confusing reforms which could lead to families in similar financial situations being treated very differently from one another.”

Under current plans households in which one earner earns over £50,000 will pay back a proportion of their child benefit through tax up to £60,000 after which point all benefit will be reclaimed. This will be done as Higher Income Child Benefit Tax Charge.

As a result, single parent families and families in which one parent stays at home are penalised. For instance, a family with two earners, each on £49,999 will still be eligible for full child benefit while a single earner family on £60,000 is not entitled to any.

Roberta Blackman-Woods said: “These reforms are both unworkable and unfair. It has been shown that the vast majority of families spend Child Benefit on essential items for their children such as clothing, food or saving for an increasingly expensive university education.