UK will cut Child Benefit

At today’s Tory party conference, the chancellor George Osborne announced cuts to Child Benefit starting in 2013. Families in which one earner exceeds the £44k higher income tax threshold will not qualify for any benefit. Earners in two-income families can both earn up to the threshold without losing benefit ( - creating the anomaly that such families could be getting CB on 80k pa).

The reason it’s worth noting is that the surest indicator that reforms will be made in Ireland is that they are first made in the UK. We’ve historically played copycat on many UK changes. It’s also a simpler (if less progressive) approach than taxation of CB, which successive Irish governments have toyed with for decades without implementing. Necessity is the mother of invention, and all that … or perhaps the mother of copying the UK in our case.

The UK chancellor also made the more nebulous promise that all benefits (other than disability) would be capped such that no family will get more money on benefits than the “average” family gets by going out to work.