DUNDEE East MP Stewart Hosie has attacked the ‘inequity’ of the new Child Benefit rules where a couple can earn £98,000 and continue to receive child benefit while a family with just one earner receiving over £50,000 loses out.
Mr Hosie told the Guide & Gazette: “I have been contacted by constituents who are losing out on child benefit under the new rules.
“Some households can earn a combined income of £98,000 without losing any entitlement to child benefit while families on a total income of £60,000 lose out completely.
“A couple loses one per cent of child benefit for every £100 earned over £50,000 by one earner. The benefit is therefore completely withdrawn from the family if one person earns over £60,000, even if there are no others earners in the family.”
He continued: “For example, a head teacher earning over £50,000 whose spouse stays at home to provide child-care will lose out on child benefit where two teachers each earning nearly £50,000 - a total household income of £98,000 - will not lose anything.
“The UK Government defends the new rules on the basis of avoiding costly means-testing on household income. But it is clear that these new rules are not equitable because they are based on the higher earner’s wage, not on combined income.
“It is just one more example of the UK Government’s determination to create a less equal society and provide less support for hard-working families.”
Mr Hosie feels that by breaking the link between welfare benefits and inflation, capping any increase to benefits payments of one per cent per annum, well below the rate of inflation, the Westminster Government is also attacking the poorest workers, jobseekers, carers and disabled people.
He concluded: “The Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill is expected to have the cumulative effect of introducing a four per cent real-terms cut to working-age benefits payments received by workers, jobseekers, carers and disabled people over the next three years.
“Decisions about welfare benefits and child benefit need to be made in Scotland to ensure we can develop the kind of fair and equitable system which most people want and which Westminster is conspicuously failing to deliver.”