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Monday, October 04, 2010

Child Benefit Shake Up

I see that George Osborne used the BBC Breakfast show to announce to a bleary eyed "Monday morningish" nation that child benefit for higher rate taxpayers would be axed "by" 2013.

Someone should remind Osborne that announcements such as this should be made to Parliament first. The Tories were always quick to criticise Labour when they indulged in this form of "government via media announcement", sadly they seem to be emulating their foe.

Credit to the interviewer, who was clearly taken by surprise, for trying to press some details out of Osborne. She quite rightly made him admit that "higher rate" includes not just those on 50%, but also those on 40%.

She then asked, in relation to "by 2013", whether this would be phased in over a period of time up to 2013. Osborne gave a rambling, evasive response which did not answer the question.

Quite clearly he intends to start cutting child benefit back (for higher rate taxpayers) now, in phases, rather than leaving it all until 2013.

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