The government after the recent Child benefit fiasco are now looking at a far fairer means of actually doing it, though whether or not they’ll decide to implement such a sensible measure remains to be seen.
All families could have their child benefit limited to their first two children in future under plans being considered by the Government.
The change is understood to be one of a number of options ministers could introduce as they attempt to rein in the welfare bill.
Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, suggested last month that unemployed parents could lose the right to claim extra benefits if they have more than two children.
He questioned whether families on benefits should continue to receive endless sums of money for every child they have, when parents who are working often cannot afford to have more children.
But the latest idea would apply to all parents and not just those out of work.
If introduced, it would not affect existing families.
Seems to tick all the boxes, it’s not retroactive, it’s therefore not punitive and it means only those who can afford a large family will (probably) go on to have one, though mistakes happen. It also means that those who choose to milk the system by having large broods and gaining a degree of financial independence at the cost to the taxpayer will have to find another way to do it.
Oh I’m sure that certain groups/religions might be up in arms that their safety net in place of effective contraception is going to be removed, but that’s there problem, it really ought not to be the job of the state taxpayer to subsidise their breeding habits. I could see the point of child benefit being paid to help with the cost of bringing up a child and being paid direct to the main carer, so they weren’t dependent on the other partners ‘good will’ but it was never meant to be a substitute (like a lot of benefits) to absolving you of the need for at least one partner to seek work.
Until or unless we remove benefits dependency as being a viable financial option save only in the short term then the cost to taxpayers will continue to rise.
Ian Duncan Smith is right to be looking at alternatives, I only hope he succeeds.