UK & World News
Planned Child Benefit Cuts 'Break EU Laws'
Cutting child benefit for middle-class parents breaks European laws and could be challenged in court, ministers have been told.
In the week that 1.2m letters outlining cuts to Child Benefit are sent out, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has revealed it wrote to ministers earlier in the year warning that European citizens working in Britain will not necessarily have their payments reduced, making the new rules "discriminatory".
The letter described the change in rules as "seriously flawed in principle and in practice" and says it "could be an operational and reputational disaster for the Government and HMRC".
From January next year, Child Benefit will be withdrawn gradually from families where one parent or partner earns more than £50,000 and withdrawn entirely from those where someone earns more than £60,000 a year.
The ICAEW claims that British families who lose out could challenge the Government because they would be at a disadvantage over some EU citizens working in Britain who would continue to receive benefits from their own country - under separate social security systems.
"Two UK-resident high earners working in the same grade of job for the same employer may therefore have different tax liabilities because one is a migrant worker and one is not. This is fundamentally incompatible with the UK's EC Treaty obligations," said the accountancy body.
HM Revenue and Customs has insisted the new rules for British citizens comply with EU laws.
Meanwhile, a think-tank has warned that government reforms intended to encourage job claimants to find work could in fact leave many households worse off.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) questioned whether computer systems at the Department for Work and Pensions would be able to cope with the introduction of the new universal credit, which is due to replace a raft of out-of-work benefits from October 2013.
It warned that the overall effect of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith's benefit changes would be to add to the complexity of a benefits system which they were supposed to simplify.
The DWP maintained that Universal Credit "will help millions of people by making them better off in work than on benefits".
what do you think?
So if I earn £50000 I could have it stopped and if a couple are on £49000 each they are still entitled. where I come from a pleb is an idiot or fool, well done goverment welcome to the pleb world
So charge Osborne with theft
If 1 parent earns over £50,000 he loses benefits but if both parents earn a total of £100,000 they keep benefits. So Osborne wants the rich to have more money but the middles class to have less, so he is a terrible and should be charged with high treason
This country has executed people for treason who have been more pro British than that 2 in Downing Str.
Glad you think he is a "terrible" Jonathan! We agree about something!
If waste of space Cameron won't stand up to Europe will he please make way for someone who will?
Do you understand the policy Russell, please look at the reality of it, as a couple you can earn..49,999.99 each but if one of you earns 50k you lose the benefit, it's a ridiculous policy, that has been conceived by a brainless monkey, so standing up to Europe it's not an issue here, in fact the EU is actually right for once.
Simon Calvert is right the EU,has nothing to do with this! except they helped Us to get rid off the radical cleric ,the one with the metal hooks! to me it seem many in the UK like to blame Europa for our mess!!
Spot on Joelle, the EU is being made into a scapegoat by those who wish to divide and conquer and sadly the 'Sun type' readers of such poisonous nonsense swallow every word rather like turkeys voting for christmas! You need not look too far to see where the nonsense is coming from....USA financiers, the City and their Israeli masters!
In football you call it an own goal. What fools have we got trying to run this country
Why do we pay for all the mp's and pay for the cost of elections when we can't do anything unless the eu say so - we could get back in the black by sacking parliament obviously a waste of money!!!
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you seem not 2 know ,that we don't decide as much as we use 2,the USA is dictating most our decisions,remember Blair&Bush,never mind the EU,they don`t need Us
just look what we have running this once great country, its time to sell up and ship out while we still can, cos theres nothing left here.
I know a lot of migrant workers and for the most part they are nice people to work with but come lunch time in the canteen its like I was sat in a cafe in Warsaw! Not one single English voice. Why oh why why why are they allowed to claim English benefits when they receive money from their own countries? This is utter madness. And still they come because our country provides a better life. But Britain is full!! Our pensions and social security systems at breaking point. We need to take back our borders as enought is enough! Nice people though they are they simply shouldn't be here.
Really Tim, I did'nt think you'd fall for that 'anti eu' rubbish. Any benefits other eu citizens claim over here is billed back to Brussells and then forwarded back to their own eu state for rectification. WE do not foot the bill.....got it?
I don't doubt your word Roger, but there are still things that don't sit comfortably with my admittedly limited knowledge of EU policies on benefits. Like why are they here if Poland is not in such a grave economic mess as, shall we say, Greece, Italy, Spain ? And why are the factories, hotels etc. not staffed by Greeks, Italians and Spanish, at least in my locality ? I would welcome any comments that could clarify the issue for me.
Tim, as a migrant worket you cannot claim any benefits until you have paid into the sysyem. Lets not fall for the divide and conquer tactics - it's boring and other hard working and relatively poor people are not the enemy. Take the opportunity to learn some Polish and learn about Polish culture. Doing so can only bring enrichment. By the way, the benefits system is British, not English. And lets not forget all outr relatives and friends who hab=ve gone to work in other countries: Canada;the USA; Australis; New Zealand : Saudi Arabia and Iraq, to name only a few. Some of our own economic migrants have gone abroad not to earn a better living wage, but to rake in the big bucks.
Absolutely correct Louisa. The Poles are not to blame - they are working and paying taxes and just doing what any European is entitled to do. If they have the gumption to move a thousand miles to find work then well done to them. Tim, you also have the right to go to Germany and find work - if you have the courage to learn another language and to change your solipsistic mind.
strewgwyn Poles in the UK earn 4 time on average the wages they would back home This is no different than the large numbers of UK building worker that went to Germany in the 1970 to earn big money Eastern Europeans, most better educated are prepared to do the jobs many poorly educated UK residents would not get out of be for
I've just read the posts from Viv, Louisa & Michael. How refreshing to see some intelligence and common sense, perhaps there is hope for the EU with sensible folks like these. I will add that I am a fervent EU Federalist, I too worked and lived in Switzerland (my Mothers country) then West Berlin, France and Aosta (Italy) throughout the late 60s and 70s and it was an education all by itself. I really do feel that all young people should do the same and maybe they can then be the antidote to the poisonous venom that is to be found in the likes of UKIP and their ilk!
The Mayor of Chicago, speaking about President Obama :- " He is faced with the same problem as Cameron, Merkel and Hollande, how to persuade his own people to accept less in order to give poor people overseas more " In short, they are all Bilderburgers !!!
I was always taught charity starts at home obviously not for our country
ADJ I do not see someone on £60k a year worth of charity There are many single people on £14K per annum having to pay tax which is then given to those earning £60k in benefits Seems a little unfair on the low earners
Michael, £60k, how so?
It really is time to get out of this EU dictatorship anyone house hold has that kind of money coming in you should not get child befits if you can't afford it you have to do without it . you want kids then stop going out ,give up something you don't really need but don't expect the state to pay for it your earning twice the national average .
WE cant do nothing,our dictator calls USA,not EU
Spot on, Paul.
many people seem not to know,that we cant leave the EU,the USA will not allow us to leave,as we the UK are their Veto in Europa,! Washington DC tells us what to do! Thanks to Tony Blair & Bush.
So if we said..... right we are out, what ya gonna do about ay ? ya want some do ya, ay ? ya want some ? They could do nothing about it. Stupid europeans, we will always be different, a cut above , without a doubt.
Can somebody please explain why if one earner in the household earns £50000 then their child benefit will be cut, but if two earners in the household both earn £49999 each their child benefit will not be touched. Surely it should be based on the household income.
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we have that many split ups in the Uk that it wouldnt be long before one of them was claiming they, as a single family, were earning below the magical cut off line ie they were only getting 49999, so it is best based on a single earning
It's because it would be administratively immpossible to keep track of the adults that commprised a "houdehold" - e.g. people changeing their partners. I'm not trying to justify it, that' s just an explanation of why they had to do it that way.
numeracy and any form of mental ability stops when entering wasteminster ............. or hadn,t you all noticed ? lol
the EU is the only protection we have we are living in a fascist state
Protection against what ?
the government persecution of the people
Not very successful, are they ?
I agree Stephen - The EU IS a fascist state.
If that where true stephen, you would have been silenced long ago.
t bulgin do you know what a fascist state is ?
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There has to be a cut off at some point, if it be 50K or 10k, some would always moan. But do do people on 50K+ really need it? I don't think so. Yet people on 15k do. Its all greed, the rich want to get richer. Now the 100K bit, well thats just conservative and wrong again.
David, I too am at a loss to understand how any household on 50K+ needs any benefits at all.
You're right - I'd feel very greedy claiming any benefit on top of my salary and think the threshold is very generous! There are people starving in our country and most should be able to manage on 50K+. Remember - this is just for ONE parent. If the other works too, it's quite a total!
this is not just about family allowance been taken from people by this totally out of touch greedy heartless uncaring unfeeling greedy grasping bunch of tory scabs. family allowance is just the latest issue in a long list of cuts forced through under the pretence that its the only avenue open to the tory robbers. as long as this poor excuse of a man is running the country the poor old and sick will suffer he will make sure of that. the rich will continue to live like royalty while the poor will continue to finance their obcene lifestyles
I wouldn't call £50,000 a year poor....If you do then I am in the underclass
tell me joe just how many people do you reckon are coining in 50 grand a year
if you earn 80.000 a year i dont think you will miss 25 quid a week ,,as for E.U laws the rest of europe dont let the E.U dictate to them but BRITAIN our GOV and M.Ps.roll over like i big dog to get its belly rubed
To be honest, If I were earning eighty quid a year, I'd retrain! Tee hee - I know what you meant really.