Child Benefit

Treasury written question – answered on 1st May 2020.

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Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work, Pensions and Inclusion)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the advertising campaigns on (a) changes to child benefit and (b) the implementation of the High-income Child Benefit Charge.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have taken considerable steps to raise awareness of HICBC. HMRC wrote to about 800,000 families affected by the charge when it was launched, and ran a high profile advertising and media campaign in 2013. They also sent letters to two million higher rate tax payers in 2013, containing a prominent message about the charge.

The Government has made two recent changes to Child Benefit. The first is an uprating of Child Benefit payments from 6th April 2020 to a weekly rate of £21.05 for the first child and £13.95 for each additional child. The second enables people to claim Child Benefit during the COVID-19 outbreak, without registering the birth of a child.

These changes have been advertised on GOV.UK guidance pages, in a press notice, on HMRC social media channels and through stakeholder engagement; HM Revenue and Customs will continue to advertise the changes.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) use a wide array of channels to reach those who may be liable to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge. This includes putting information about the charge in packs made available to new parents which tell them how to claim Child Benefit.

HMRC have also ramped up communications aimed at people whose financial circumstances have changed since they claimed Child Benefit by using social media, GOV.UK, and via third parties such as family websites.

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