Cameron opts to protect Child Benefit from further cuts until 20202 June 2015
David Cameron has rejected Iain Duncan Smith’s plans to restrict Child Benefit to the first two children or cut the amount a first child can receive by over a third. Cameron has promised not to make cuts to Child Benefit until 2020, However, as outlined in the Queen’s Speech, the rate will be frozen from 2016 – 17.
Cameron has reiterated the importance of Child Benefit, which is paid to families in which neither parent earns above £50,000. During the election Cameron pledged: ‘We’re keeping it, not cutting it. I believe strongly in child benefit. With me child benefit stays as it is’.
Paul Waugh, writing for the Huffington Post raises the concern that Tory moves to protect Child Benefit from the £12bn of proposed welfare cuts, could spell deeper cuts to other benefits such as housing and disability benefits.
The government has faced criticism this week, from the Pre-School Learning Alliance, over ‘grossly underfunding’ it’s free childcare pledge for 600,000 families.
Concerns have been raised that many nurseries are already overstretched and under-resourced.
The Telegraph reports that Priti Patel, the employment minister, has responded to the concerns by stating that she would be leading a consultation to review the overall funding model to increase the hourly rate.
Cameron has commented on ITV’s This Morning that ‘we need an expansion of the childcare sector, we need more nurseries, more of these places to open, so we’re working with them to expand’.
The debate has been reported by the Guardian here.