I was glad to hear leading members of the government say today they plan to think again about how they will implement their policy of cutting Child Benefit for the better off.
In the original proposal there were two big problems that gave rise to a sense of injustice. The first was the differing treatment of the one earner and two earner couple. A single earner couple on £45,000 a year loses all child assistance, whilst a two earner couple on £80,000 still receives it. That needs changing.
The second was the fact that as soon as your pay goes over the 40% Tax threshold you lose all child benefits. This could be a perverse incentive to avoid promotion or extra pay. That too needs examining.
The Chancellor could still make his savings, whilst working out a fairer and gradual withdrawal system that tackles both these problems. I have discussed these matters in the past with colleagues, and never thought they would implement the original proposal as reported.