Carla Lockhart said:
“These are challenging times for every household. Families across Northern Ireland are facing increasing food and fuel prices, increases in childcare costs, uniform costs, and the inflationary pressures across a range of expenditure. Today the Office of National Statistics revealed that while average wages rose 4.7% between April and June, that was outpaced by inflation, meaning the "real value" of pay fell by 3%.
At times like this the Government must be looking at the benefits system and ensuring fairness for everyone. In terms of child benefit, it is unfair that a household where one income exceeds £50,000 is then punished by tax or complete withdrawal of child benefit, whilst in theory their next-door neighbour with two- partner incomes of under £50,000, potentially totalling nearly £100,000, does not incur any tax penalty on their child benefit. No one can argue that this is fair.
I would call on the Government to reconsider the High-Income Child Benefit Charge as a way of helping families as we enter what will be a difficult autumn and winter for so many people. This simple change could put hundreds of pounds into thousands of family’s pockets. It really is time for fairness for all those with children.”