High-income Child Benefit Charge

Treasury – in the House of Commons at on 19 March 2024.

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Photo of Karl McCartney Karl McCartney Conservative, Lincoln

Good morning, just, Mr Speaker. What assessment he has made of the impact of raising the high-income child benefit charge threshold on household incomes.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government will raise the point at which child benefit is fully withdrawn to £80,000 from £60,000, and we will raise the high-income child benefit charge threshold to £60,000 from £50,000 from 6 April 2024, taking 170,000 families out of paying the charge. Overall, these changes mean that almost half a million hard-working families will gain an average of £1,260 towards the cost of raising their children.

Photo of Karl McCartney Karl McCartney Conservative, Lincoln

Good afternoon, Mr Speaker. [Laughter.] These changes are welcome, and they mean that more Lincoln families will receive more support from the Government, as I told the Minister in Lincoln on Friday. Will my hon. Friend confirm when the formal consultation on basing child benefit on household income rather than on individual income will commence, if the civil servants in the Treasury will let him do it?

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

I thank my hon. Friend. It was a pleasure, as always, to meet him in his constituency on Friday, where we discussed this matter and many others. The Government will launch a consultation in due course on how to end this unfairness by administering the HICBC on a household rather than an individual basis. Doing so would require significant reform of the tax system, as our tax infrastructure does not currently have a mechanism to consider household income, but the Government plan to end the unfairness for single-earner families in the child benefit system by administering the HICBC on a household rather than an individual basis by April 2026.

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

I thank the Minister for that. Child benefit income is an integral part of how families make their money last through the whole week. If there are any changes that will reduce it in any way, is it the Minister’s intention to ensure that those who have questions, difficulties or concerns have their concerns and wishes taken on board? It is really important that those facing financial changes can cope with the changes to come.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

I thank the hon. Gentleman. It is precisely because of the complexities involved that we will have the consultation. I am sure that his views and those of his constituents will be warmly welcomed in that.