Question to the HM Treasury:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans his Department has to ensure the equity of the High Income Child Benefit charge for single income households in the context of the application of that charge to households with two incomes below the threshold.
The Government introduced the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) from January 2013 to ensure that support for families is targeted at those who need it most. The tax charge applies to anyone with an individual income over £50,000 who claims Child Benefit, or whose partner claims it, regardless of family make-up.
HICBC is calculated on an individual rather than a household basis, in line with other income tax policy. Basing HICBC on household incomes would mean finding out the incomes of everyone in each of the 7.8 million households currently registered for Child Benefit. This would effectively introduce a new means test, which would be costly to administer and create burdens on the majority of families who receive Child Benefit.
The Government has no current plans to review HICBC but, as with all elements of tax policy, keeps this under review as part of the annual Budget process.