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Plans being considered by the Conservatives to cap child benefit payments picks on children and “punishes children”, says a leading children’s charity.

The Conservatives are considering limiting child benefit payments to no more than three children, the BBC reports.

James Browne from the Institute for Fiscal Studies said the move would save an estimated £300 million a year, but added it could take 18 years before any savings are realised.

He added the policy would not get the Tories “that far” in achieving their general election pledge of cutting welfare spending by £12 billion.

Child benefit pays £20.50 a week for the first child, falling to £13.55 for any subsequent children.

The benefit is paid to everyone who has children. However, changes introduced by the Government in January 2013 mean higher earners have to pay more tax if they want to continue receiving it.

Tory MP Dominic Raab said the child benefit cap was only “under consideration” and not purely about saving money.

He told the BBC: “There is a much broader point than just the financial bean counting.

“It’s the kind of welfare system we want – do we want a social safety net or are we saying that welfare is somehow a lifestyle choice?

“And I think we do want the welfare system to send a message about personal responsibility, and yes that includes parents saving and taking some responsibility for the size of their family, making sure it’s according to their means.”

The Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) Alison Garnham responded furiously:

“It’s astonishing that just as IFS reports show families have been hammered hardest by austerity cuts over this Parliament that plans that will inevitably impoverish even more children in the next Parliament are being discussed.

“The Government itself is absolutely clear that 99% of money given to parents in child benefit is money that does end up being spent on meeting the needs of children.

“Taking away child benefit from families in this way would pick on children and punish siblings for circumstances beyond their control.

“Child Benefit has already lost 14% of its value over this Parliament, exposing working and non-working families to even greater hardship.

“Our Cost of a Child report last year showed child benefit covered 19% of the extra costs of meeting the basic needs of a child – it’s an amount that working and non-working families would struggle to do without.”

Labour MP Dame Anne Begg, who chairs the Work and Pensions Select Committee, accused the Conservatives of picking on children.

“I don’t think you have a child because you’re going to get an extra… £13.55 a week”, she said.

“Only one in seven families have three or more children – it’s a small number – so why pick on them?”

Figures available on the CPAG website, show there are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK  – equivalent to 27% of all children.

Child poverty costs society at least £29 billion a year and is predicted to rise by more than 600,000 by 2015/15.

Some experts and charities warn that without urgent action to reduce child poverty, it could reach a shocking 4.7 million by 2020.


  1. The Tory’s really would do the food from a poor child’s mouth. its called benefit sanctions. Now they want another five years to take the child benefit away as now they want the shirt or blouse off the poor child’s back rather then means test the Child benefit payment. The richest people in society do not need a child benefit payment. Serving MPs of pension age do not need the winter fuel allowance of which ken Clark spends it on a nice bottle of wine and classes it as a small tax break.
    Ask yourself this. would you whilst walking down the street steal the food out of a child’s mouth.No you wouldn’t. you know that would be an act of a scumbag. Yet people still vote in favour of the very people who have robbed the food from a poor child’s mouth in the most unfair welfare reform in living history.

  2. Look the plain facts are quite simple, you just demonise and the so called great British public will swallow it all hook line and sinker, lets face it, if a person fiddles the dole it will be all over the papers TV, Radio and Lie papers (sorry Newspapers).
    And the Gullible Brits will go on one, somehow it shows us all up for what some of us are, SELFISH; for the same people harp on about people on benefits but you never hear the same cry over the TAX EVADER – says it all really – STUPID IGNORANT PEOPLE WHO SWOLLOW ANY NONSENSE.

  3. Picking on the children again are we? Don’t forget we have to replace a generation with a generation to keep the older generation ticking over. Who else i going to wipe the bums of older folk

    • Your post is spot on, but sadly the Great British public are the most selfish stupid ignorant people going, that is until they need to use the service of benefits or dare I say have a 4th child and hey presto the cry comes out – I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS LIKE THAT – ignorance is bliss.

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