Coronavirus: Child Benefit should be used to help families

Categories: School of Health and Society

Academics from the University of Salford have joined colleagues across the country in calling on the UK Government to provide urgently needed support to families by increasing Child Benefit to £50 per child, per week.

In a letter sent to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, the group of 85 academics, led by London School of Economics (LSE), explain that an increase in Child Benefit would be a simple, efficient and cost-effective way to help families who may be struggling in the current circumstances.

Dr David Beck, Lecturer of Social Policy at the University of Salford and one of the signatories of the letter, said: “An increase in Child Benefit offers an immediate way in which the government can help struggling families. There is already a High Income Child Benefit Charge in place for people earning over £50,000, meaning the additional money would only be received by those in genuine need.

“Evidence shows that currently Child Benefit only covers around a fifth of the cost of raising a child. An increase to £50 a week would be an appropriate and reasonable step, particularly given the current situation with coronavirus. 

“As we come together as a society to protect one another by staying home from work and school, it is so important that people aren’t left with financial concerns on top of everything else. A modest increase, which would be easy for government to administrate, would have a huge impact for families across the country.”

Other members of the University of Salford's Social Policy team, Professor Lisa Scullion and Dr Mark Wilding, have also signed the letter.

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