Monday, 4 October 2010

Family Benefit as it's now called

Knotty problem coming up today re family allowance and high earners. My husband's terse comment was. "We never claimed our family allowance anyway". And this is something I believe. He is an honorable man. Not sure how many can say the same.
I did claim family allowance. I needed it...
I was a single mother raising two children on my own for the years of their infancy up to teenage years. Money was very tight indeed. The FA in those days paid for all their new clothes, and often times the choice was wether to buy food or put a much needed new tyre on the car.
Holidays were always in a tent. We loved camping and even the bugs that occasionally spooked my daughter failed to put us off.
I taught. But only a half week because that was all I could get for a while. The car was necessary to get me to work and the children to school.
The FA was the only state hand out I ever took but it was an absolute essential to giving them the good things of life that they deserved.
I am sure that more people like my husband exist. He did not need the money so he didn't take it. Lesson there.

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1 comment:

  1. I think it's funny how people view the taking of our money in tax, and the giving in benefits as two different things. Really they are both just a means of distributing wealth.

    All tax-payers have a form of benefit called the "tax-free allowance". I hear quite a few high-earning taxpayers say that they don't claim their child benefit as they don't need it, but none that say they should ask HMRC to put their tax-free allowance down to zero!

    Personally I think that universal benefits are the way to give help where it counts and Child Benefit has been a fantastic example of this. What does it matter if people who don't need it get it, as long as they are getting taxed more anyway? I welcome the replacement of things like jobseekers allowance (or whatever it's called today) by a universal credit, but not the retrograde step of taking a perfectly good universal benefit and means-testing it.

    It wouldn't surprise me if we discover in a few years that much of the money saved by taking the benefit from high earners has gone on the cost of reorganising the system into a means-tested one. How much simpler it would be for the HMG just to add a penny of tax to high earners instead!