Archive for October 28th, 2010

Child Benefit Cut ‘Unenforceable,’ Treasury in a Flap

It seems there is a bit of a ‘flap’ on…..  tax law is difficult…. and so, it would appear, is government!  The devil is in the detail…. but have no fear… Beaker will ride to the rescue and make a “Renouncement” ?

The Wall Street Journal reports… “The government is struggling to find a way of making George Osborne’s plans to remove child benefit from those paying 40% tax work.

A Treasury source says the policy is “unenforceable” and likely to be ditched before its scheduled introduction in 2013. Another source at the heart of government says the expectation is that it will eventually not happen. Elsewhere I hear that it is “panic stations in the Treasury.”

At root is a problem that should have been apparent to those designing the policy, if detailed advice had been sought from civil servants before it was announced at Conservative party conference.

Child benefit is generally paid to the mother. She is under no legal obligation to tell the father that she receives it. The Treasury confirms this. It is her benefit. The father’s tax status is irrelevant. If a mother claims it there is nothing forcing her to flag up to the taxman that her husband earns above the level that Osborne stipulates should mean no child benefit.

Indeed, the child benefit was designed with the express purpose of keeping the cash away from men.

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Kenneth Clarke and Lord Judge: a plain-speaking verdict on life after cuts

Joshua Rozenberg in The Guardian: Lord chancellor and lord chief justice share a talent for bluntness, but who is the most realistic about how the deficit will affect the legal system?

I’ve had a busy week – but this article by Rozenberg is worth a read.  I did catch the TV footage of Lord Judge appearing before he Commons justice committee.  He was excellent. Truth speaks to power! Mind you… easier if one happens to be Lord Chief Justice, I suspect…..

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