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Is making child benefit means tested fair? Will it be state pensions next? One has to assume so, I think. How will the changes to child benefit be implemented? Is it another stick to beat the self-employed with? Is it fair that a household with one bread-winner on £42,475 (less than twice the national average income) will lose this benefit? How will it be policed? What if you don’t know what your total income for the year will be, until the end of the year? Will there be penalties if you claim and then your income goes up in the middle of the tax year? Will the result be employees turning down pay rises and even asking to be paid less? In the case of unmarried couples, especially where they are both earners, how are HMRC going to work out which households are earning over the threshold? In 2013, employers will have to do their payroll in “Real Time” with HMRC, meaning that they will be constantly submitting their payroll data to HMRC, so they know who you are paying and how much and what your liabilities are, maybe this will help, but they would still have to cross-check it with who your partner and children are. It seems to me that the administration that will now be involved will diminish any savings to be made. Is it madness that we are talking about this at the same time as discussing dropping the 50p tax band? It would seem much more sensible, straight-forward, and cheaper to me to make these savings with the PAYE and National Insurance thresholds and rates. In that way, all children would still be entitled to this benefit, as they should be. What with childcare costs going up so much and the value of childcare vouchers going down, parents of young children particularly are really feeling the pinch.

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