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In contented claims, Pay Child Benefit to the Parent with the lowest income

Comment 8th July 2010

This is not a repeal of legislation.  It requires a change of policy only, which is in effect a ministerial directive.

At the moment when a contended claim (two parents claiming for the same child) comes along, there is a "no change" policy, unless the claiming parent has IN EXCESS of 50% of the time.

Thus, the mother (due to the fact that she will have been getting it when the couple were living together by means of the order of priority) will continue to receive child benefit in the vast majority of cases, even when 50/50 shared care exists.  Which then means that the father will be considered the NRP for the purposes of the CSA.  (Interestingly, both government departments blame each other for this)

Now my proposal is simple.  Remove the "no change" rule, and instead pay Child Benefit to the parent who had the LOWER income for the % of care they have.  As Child Benefit is administered by HMRC this should not be a major burden, and it only needs to be done for contended claims.

The formula would be:

(Claimant 1's Income x percentage of care) <> (Claimant 2's Income x percentage of care)

and then paying the claimant with the lower income. to care.

 

This would have very little "cost" effect.  The reason is that if the 2nd claimant had a higher income than the first claimant for the amount of care, or a lower amount of care, they would not apply and contend the claim (as they would not stand a chance of winning).

Why does this matter?

Child benefit is supposed to alieviate poverty.  It is an access benefit, which is used to determine who ought get support.

It is also used to determine who gets payments from the other for Child Support.

This would target the funds to the parent who needed them most.

 

This would save the CB, and CSA substantial sums in repeat applications, and disputes.

This would be the fairest way of targetting government funds, to those who needed them more.

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