Monday, 26 November 2012

Feel The Fear And Forego Child Benefit Anyway

The Inland Revenue is busy cleaning up part of Gordon Brown's poisonous legacy by clawing back Child Benefit payments made to households earning more than £50,000. Either you decline it, or you'll pay the equivalent in tax as a "Child Benefit Charge".

Given that you paid the government to pay you Child Benefit in the first place, you would be insane (or extremely passive aggressive), not to simply decline it. 

But if you do decide to hold onto the benefit undeservedly, the Child Benefit Charge means you know exactly which tax is being used to repay any Child Benefit you receive. Screwy, but it should teach you a lesson.

This also exposes Gordo's trick.

In paying child benefit to higher earners, Brown was trading on their greed, as well as their fear. He knew higher earners would feel justified in receiving the benefit because they already paid so much in tax and felt they should get something back. The stupidity of paying the government to receive a needless benefit would not dawn on them because it was all done indirectly, by stealth. There was no tax labelled "Child Benefit Charge", as there will be going forward (at least for undeserving recipients). As a result, he knew higher earners would struggle to believe that taxes would ever be reduced if they voted to restrict Child Benefit only to deserving families. The government would always find another sneaky use for the tax money.

The current government has had no alternative but to lift the lid on this nonsense. Public spending must be narrower and more targeted if the government is to spend less, get rid of the structural deficit, and release the tax drag on the economy.

Ideally we would seeer clear links between taxes and what they're used for - like crowdfunding public services.

Clearly income tax cuts are a long way off. But rather than shoot the current government as the messenger, we should blame Gordo and his Nude Labour cronies, including Balls and Milliband, for this predicament. None of those people must ever be allowed anywhere near the nation's coffers ever again.

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