The Benefit System, Welfare to Work

– Withdrawal of Child Benefit

The reason why some households earning more than £80,000 will keep their payments, while others on less than £45,000 will not, is that we have pioneered a system of taxing the individual, while almost not recognising the family as an economic unit.

The benefits system functions in the opposite way.

If household income were the basis for assessing child benefit – which has traditionally gone to one parent, usually the mother – the perceived unfairness would vanish. There is therefore a contradiction between the way tax and benefits are calculated as it provides a disincentive for couples to live together, where one or other or both are dependent on the state. In areas where housing is expensive, the penalty for cohabiting can run into hundreds of pounds.

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