Memorandum submitted by National Federation
of Women's Institutes (CB 13)
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
3. Taxing child benefit would be taxing a tax
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
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
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.
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.