Select Committee on Social Security Report


APPENDIX 12

Memorandum submitted by National Federation of Women's Institutes (CB 13)

TAXATION AND CHILD BENEFIT

  1. The NFWI is concerned that means-testing Child Benefit would increase the bureaucracy and subsequently the cost of administration due to the differing needs of married and un-married couples.

  2. The NFWI agree that parents on higher salaries should not be entitled to child benefit, but if this is at the cost to low income groups then a universal system should be retained.

  3. Taxing child benefit would be taxing a tax allowance.

  4. The tax allowance will normally be paid to the wage earner, usually the man, but child benefit is paid to the principle carer, usually the woman. Research shows that income paid to the woman is more likely to be spent on children's needs.

5. WORKING FAMILIES TAX CREDIT

  The NFWI is concerned that women and single parents will no-longer have the right to decided how their child is cared for. If the new Tax Credit scheme is based on an objective that all parents should work and not stay at home and care for their children, then a new form of discrimination will emerge and it will be the Government deciding what is best for the child.

  6. Child benefit does not change with family circumstances. It is a non-means tested benefit and therefore a reliable income for the child.

16 - 19 YEAR OLDS IN CONTINUING EDUCATION

  8. The NFWI is concerned about payments for children of 16 - 19 years. It feels that living expenses must be covered if the child is to remain at home and attend college or a training scheme.

  9. The NFWI is concerned that child benefit payments will not be received for all 16 - 19 year olds who are in full-time education who are repeating courses because of ill-health or disappointing grades.

  10. The expenses/educational allowance should be paid to the parent or college place, not the young person.

CHILD BENEFIT COALITION

  11. The NFWI are founding members of the Child Benefit Coalition and support all its aims.

  12. I have enclosed a leaflet for your information. This leaflet was supported by all the main political parties on its launch at the end of 1996.

September 1998


 
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