Osborne refuses to rule out cuts to child benefit

6 April 2015

George Osborne has not ruled out the possibility of rolling child benefit into Universal Credit, stating that the task of welfare reform is not complete. Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Chris Leslie has warned that this could result in 4.3m families losing over £1,000 a year.

The IFS who generated the proposals as part of a series of suggestions for how the Chancellor could cut a further £12bn from the welfare budget, has calculated that the policy would save around £4.8bn a year. The IFS has stated that ‘This would be a radical change to the structure of the benefits system, but would mean that the system of support for families with children was much more coherent’.

Leslie has commented to the Guardian that rolling child benefit into Universal Credit would place ‘middle income families in the firing line’.

George Osborne has suggested that any plans to incorporate child benefit into Universal Credit, would have been set in motion at the time when Universal Credit was set up, though he has also refused to definitively rule the reform out.