Up to one in four small families now receive more in
child-contingent support from the government than their children
actually cost, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies say that
government support for children has grown by more than half in the
past four years.
The report found that since 1975 “child-contingent
support” – income that families receive because they
have children – has more than doubled in real terms from
£10 billion to £22 billion a year.
The fastest rise has been since 1999, almost all of it due to
policy changes. Before 1999 much of the growth was the result of
changing characteristics of families themselves such as the growth
of one parent families.
Child-contingent support favours the first child in a household,
which means that smaller families receive more money per child than
Between ten per cent and 25 per cent of families with one or two
children may now be receiving more financial support than the
minimum cost of supporting their children, says the study.