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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Questions over costly child benefit changes

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Changes to child benefit due to be brought in next year will cost the taxpayer millions of pounds Heeley MP Meg Munn has discovered. In the first year alone the Treasury expect to lose up to 55 million due to families not being correctly identified by the new system.


Meg also discovered that the extra costs of setting up and administering the new system will include about 100 million for staff, up to 13 million for new computer systems and 5 million to provide information to those affected.


The changes are being introduced because the government wanted to remove Child Benefit from higher earners. This will be done through a complex system which will place a charge on people in receipt of Child Benefit. Taxpayers with income between 50,000 and 60,000 will pay a charge equivalent to a proportion of their Child Benefit, while those earning over 60,000 will pay a charge equivalent to Child Benefit.


The tax office is expected to start contacting people earning over the threshold from autumn 2012 and individuals will have an obligation imposed upon them to advise the tax office if they are affected by the changes.


Meg said:


“We were told that this new approach would offer a simple solution that would work easily through the existing tax system. In fact we’ve ended up with a complex and expensive system which will cost millions of pounds to set-up, administer and monitor. The Treasury Select Committee has cautioned that these changes will complicate the tax system rather than simplify it.”


Child Benefit is currently a universal, non-taxable cash payment for families with children. It is currently worth 20.30 a week for the eldest eligible child, and 13.40 for each subsequent child.

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