Child Benefit to be limited to 4 children?

Next Conservative manifesto may cap the amount of children eligible for Child Benefit

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Parents planning large families may get less Child Benefit in the future, under plans being discussed by the Conservative Party.

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The Tories are apparently looking at capping the number of children you can claim for – to 4 per family.

However, it’s understood that senior figures are pressing David Cameron to go further. There’s a call to cap benefit to just 2 children per family – to help Chancellor George Osborne’s efforts to cut £12 billion from the welfare bill by 2017.

Policy Exchange, a think tank with close links to the Conservative Party, has said that if the Tories win the next election in May 2015, they plan to reduce benefit payments for each child after the first, according to The Telegraph.

Child benefit is currently £20.50 a week for the first child and £13.55 for every child after that.

Under the proposed Policy Exchange plans, the weekly payment would be £21.50 for the first child, £14.85 for the second, £14.30 for the third and £13.70 for the fourth.

The Conservatives say ending child benefit payments after the second child would save £1 billion a year within 3 or 4 years.

“Because the plans would not be retrospective, you are not taking benefit money away from anyone,” a Conservative source said.

“It is right that people consider the number of children that they can afford. The savings this kind of policy would make would be huge. It is being seriously discussed.”

This would be the second major change to Child Benefit. In January 2013, high earners were excluded for the first time and the benefit is now only paid in full to those with an income of under £50,000.

Should the amount of benefits large families can claim be reduced? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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