If Mum stays home to look after the kids then Dad can only earn half what they could take home as a couple before the family loses child benefit.
All the Chancellor has done in the budget is raise the threshold above which benefit is taken away by around £7,000 and replace his previous ‘cliff-edge’ withdrawal of benefit with a steep taper that leaves single earners with children facing implied marginal tax rates of well over 50% if they have one child, and nearer 80% if they have four or five.
George Osborne has done nothing about the main problem with this policy – a single earner household losing their benefit while a dual earner couple earning up to twice as much keep theirs.
A single earner household, say with Mum staying home to look after the kids, will lose child benefit if they earn between £50,000 and 60,000, but a couple where both parents go out to work can keep their child benefit even if they earn £100,000 between them.
What is Conservative about that? And why on earth is the Chancellor still trying to do it even though colleagues have tried to explain the problem to him time and time again.
*if they both go out to work