Is Labour planning to cut Child Benefit for the rich?

1:21 pm - June 5th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    

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The Telegraph’s Mary Riddell and the BBC’s Nick Robinson say today that Labour is planning to drop opposition to cuts to child benefits for people earning over £50,000 a year.

David Cameron made a big deal about it at PMQs today.

Robinson writes:

To do so [reverse the cut] would cost £2.3bn. That is 23 times as much as the money which would be saved by removing winter fuel allowance from wealthier pensioners – the policy unveiled by the shadow chancellor Ed Balls earlier this week.

He then asks if Ed Miliband “will go further” tomorrow in a speech on Social Security reform.

I asked sources from Ed Miliband’s office this morning about these announcements.

I was told that their position remains the same: the party is not planning to set out a fully costed budget for 2015 yet, so they will not confirm or deny whether they will reverse a particular cut.

“There’s no new position on child benefits, I was told. But my sources were also of the view that extending child benefits to those who earn over £50k will “not be a priority” – given the cost involved.

“We will look at every cut [to spending made by the Tories] and see what our priority is,” I was told.

So what about Miliband’s speech tomorrow? It will not focus on cutting universal benefits, I was told quite firmly.

It will focus on how Labour will reinvent Social Security for a new era. More on that later tonight once the time of the embargo is passed.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments

So much for ‘this move draws a line under the “what would you cut?” questioning’. So now it’s not just going to be winter fuel allowances, it’s also going to be child benefit too. Nope. No undermining of the welfare state going on here.

Another nail in the coffin, rich today poor tomorrow

I certainly hope they not looking to get rid of child benefits! Won’t go down at all!

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