Social Security Benefits: Children

HM Treasury written question – answered on 22nd December 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which countries limit financial support for children by the number of dependent children.

Photo of Lord O'Neill of Gatley Lord O'Neill of Gatley The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury

The national systems for supporting families in and out of work are very different between countries and it is thus difficult to compare one system with another. Many countries do not have means-tested supplements for children.

The Government believes that the welfare system needs to be fair to taxpayers as well as benefit claimants, which includes ensuring that families on benefits make the same sort of financial decisions about the number of children they can afford to have as families supporting themselves solely through work.

In 2011 the UK spent more on family benefits than Germany, France or Sweden. The UK spent more than double the OECD average on cash benefits to families according to OBR’s welfare trends report 2015.

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