Child benefit for older kids faces axe
Posted by David at 7 43 AM on Sunday, September 12
CHILD benefit may be axed for older teenagers under plans to slash the £192 billion-a-year welfare bill.
The handout is paid to more than seven million families who have children under 19. But Treasury officials are looking at lowering the cut-off point to 16 or even 13.
Halting payments when kids reach 16 would shave £3 billion off the £11 billion annual child allowance bill.
The benefit, worth £20 a week for the first child and £13.40 for others, is already frozen for the next three years.
Opponents say youngsters from poor families would have to leave school to find work.
Chancellor George Osborne is against means- testing parents, saying a lower age limit would be less controversial.
A Whitehall source said: “It depends how the figures add up as to how far we need to go.”
Plans to tax or age- limit universal pensioner benefits — such as winter fuel payments and free TV licences — are also “firmly on the table”.
Around £4 billion of savings has already been earmarked from out of work benefits, on top of £11 billion social security cuts.