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The majority of working mums think child benefit should not be restricted to two children, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll of 244 parents.
Some 65% of working mums said the benefit should not be capped at two children, despite recent reports that the Conservatives are considering doing so. Some 32% said it should be capped, however, with 3% said they did not know.
In July, Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps said capping child benefit would put parents on benefits in the same position as people who were working who chose not to have a child because they can’t afford it.
However, those polled argued that parents did not have children because of child benefit, that it would impact on parents who were working as well as not working, that parents did not necessarily know if they would struggle later in life once they made a decision to have children and that children should not be punished as a result of government policy.
One mum said: “Child benefit if you have more than one child is just £13.40 a week per child. Most people do not have more than two children due to child benefit, but in a world where the cost of living and childcare is so high, it does help. The problem is the cost of living is too high and wages in general too low, not child benefit. Capping it is just another way to hit low paid families.”
Another commented: “If the government has chosen to give a payment per child that is what the government has decided to do. People do not base how many children they have on child benefit. No, I do not think they should limit it, exclude higher earners or anything like that. If it no longer works stop it for everyone.”
One mum stated: “Just because parents have more than two children doesn’t mean they don’t work work hard to provide for their family. What if you have one child then are expecting twins??? Most parents go out to work and pay tax. I don’t think an extra £13 a week from government when we have bedroom tax and have cut pensions is a lot to ask.”
Another added: “I have four children and I get £60.50 a week – that’s for ALL 4, not each. Sure, it helps towards food/clothes, but it was hardly an incentive for me to have number 3 or 4! Other benefits should be addressed, or perhaps tallied up with National Insurance contributions…… so that you have to work for a predetermined period of time, or contribute X amount to the NI pot to qualify for Jobseekers Allowance or the likes….”
However, many mums felt that benefits should be restricted. One mum said: “Knowing we can’t afford to feed another why should we give life to a poor child to suffer? It’s not the quantity which matters – it’s the quality.”
Another said: “No-one should expect someone else to finance their desires. You shouldn’t be planning children until you can afford to care for them and you certainly shouldn’t be churning out kids and be expecting the tax payers to support them and you.”
Another added: “If you can afford to have more than two children, pay for them yourself. There are many couples or singles who do not have children, but contribute in their taxes.They have no say in that. Why should they pay for inconsiderate people? I have two children. Enough.”