I opened a letter this week, it was to inform our family that we no longer fit the criteria for any family tax credit payments, so the £30 we received every four weeks, for our two children will cease. After slight annoyance, well £30 is £30 after all, i had to admit to myself with our country’s current economic crisis it seems quite fair than the state need to cut outgoings somewhere. We are a family with two working parents, my husband has a well paid job as a full time control systems engineering accounts manager and I’m currently working at ‘retail super giant’ as a stock controller. So the £30 would not make a great amount of difference, so it should probably be put to better use elsewhere in the community.
Wandering into work the next morning at ‘retail super giant’ I had a discussion with one of my colleagues about the tax credit’s system and we got onto the subject of child benefit.
Chancellor George Osborne has said child benefit for higher rate taxpayers will be removed,at some point. A point I was aware from an old conversation I had discussing finances with my hubby. Chancellor George Osborne has also said ‘We’re very clear that it is fair that those who are better off in our society make a contribution to the saving of money we need to make… so we will be removing child benefit from higher rate taxpayers. On reflection this sounds fair doesn’t it? In practice I’m not sure how fair it is.
The Coalition have said that nearly 70,000 households in England are receiving more than £26,000 a year in benefits. Ministers also said that this figure is equivalent to a working person having a £35,000 pre-tax salary. They were actually discussing this as a separate issue to the one i’m talking about.They were saying that no family should be receiving more than that in benefits, but i have used the figure to get my point across for this blog.
The cut of the child benefit and family tax credits proposed would not just include our top earners in England. (such as those footie players,how can you earn so much kicking a ball,answers on a postcard please?) There will also be planned cuts to a working families’ income who earn only slightly above the 35,000 annual pre tax salary, so in retrospect people earning only slightly above what another family receive in benefits, will lose their children’s child benefit and the small amount of family tax credit but a family receiving the the same income in handouts will get to keep their family tax credit and the child benefit they have.
So tell me why are benefits paying so much to the lower-income workers? Are we a secret communist state, because I don’t think that tends to work in practice? Add into this the family who would lose out especially would be the stay at home parent with the partner earning a good income of £44,000 because she would lose her child benefit for all her children but the couple both earning £22,000 each would still receive it,how is that fair? If you take from one family shouldn’t you take from the other, family too? I would have thought the money is the same amount, it goes equally as far.
I’m honestly believe that everyone deserves a warm home, plenty of food to eat, electricity and running water no matter what you earn, if that means the stronger members of the community need to support the more vulnerable members of the community from their taxes. Then so be it. What I don’t believe in though, is that middle earning families should be paying higher rate taxes and receiving no benefits so slightly lower-income families can benefit from the same income without earning it.
Where is the incentive to study hard, go into further education, work longer hours or push for that promotion? A person earning that money would have studied for a number of years to gain valuable qualifications, he might risk life and limb to do his job, maybe she works 60+ hours a week.
In England you might as well remain unmarried, both work 16 hours in the easiest job you can find and receive the rest of the finances needed to have a family income of £35,000, on tax credits. Factor into that only low-income and single parent families are entitled to the 70% paid childcare element of the working families tax credit as well, there’s no big wonder why the middle earning families are becoming bitter, is there?
Surely it would have been better to introduce a subsidy for the childcare therefore encouraging more parents to work, meaning more taxes, which equates to more money back in the economy? Personally I would have loved to go back to work after my son was born but because we couldn’t afford the childcare fees I had to work anti social evenings and half six starts on alternative weekends for a few years instead to make that extra bit of money that takes family life from basic to fun.
Also one extra little point the tax credit was originally brought in as a bit of your tax (only if you paid some) paid back for the tax payers with children. When did it turn into a code for welfare payment?
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that families where the parents have a disability, a chronic medical problem or broken families that need a bit of support to get back on their feet, should always get looked after but i do wonder if some of the money is in the wrong place. Added to that I believe if you can afford one child you have one, you don’t have six and expect a bigger house paid for with housing benefit, its crazy, isn’t it?!