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Family allowance 'honesty policy' to be introduced

Family allowance 'honesty policy' to be introduced

Thursday 02 July 2020

Family allowance 'honesty policy' to be introduced

Thursday 02 July 2020

Stopping family allowance payments to households with a higher income than others will be done based on an 'honesty policy', to keep administration costs as low as possible for the States.

If plans to subsidise some healthcare costs for children are approved by the States, it will coincide with introducing an upper cap on family allowance, meaning households with a gross income of £120,000 or more will no longer receive the weekly payments.

Family allowance payments will also stop when a child reaches 18, even if they remain in full-time education beyond that age.

family allowance 2020

Pictured: At the moment family allowance is payable to all families with children.

The savings made in stopping family allowance payments to families with children over the age of 18, and those with a household income of more than £120,000 will then be redirected into a new scheme proposed by the Committees for Employment and Social Security, Education, Sport and Culture and Health and Social Care.

Jointly, they want to reduce the cost of some healthcare services for children.

Under the plans, from September 2021 the cost of a child’s appointment with a GP will be cut to £25 and every child will be offered a free annual dental check-up, including fluoride varnish treatment. An appointment at the Emergency Department at the PEH will also cost £25 and a visit to a nurse at a GP Practice will be £15.

Around £150,000 will be reallocated to education and ring fenced for enrichment and cultural activities for children at primary schools. Dental health education in schools will be strengthened and there will be a supervised tooth-brushing programme for children in pre- schools.

Michelle Le Clerc poverty ESS

Pictured: Deputy Michelle Le Clerc is the President of the Committee for Employment and Social Security, which has responsibility for the island's benefits and allowances. 

HSC and ESC both said the subsidised health services will help improve outcomes for all children, while ESS said it will help address the problem of in-work poverty which affects a number of households. 

ESS President, Deputy Michelle Le Clerc said making the changes which will enable to funds to be diverted to pay for the subsidised health services will have to be done as simply as possible, which will include asking families to be honest about their incomes.

“These proposals are an important step towards addressing the in-work poverty experienced by many families with children. We were required by resolution of the States to come back with a report on revising the family allowance arrangements and we think this is a very constructive response. My Committee believes it is important that we continue family allowance payments to most families for children under 18 and to withdraw them only from the highest income households.

"We will administer this as simply as we can, for the time being relying on a declaration from families that their gross income is below £120,000. Longer term, we expect a more automated system to be developed within the States’ digitalization of services.”

Pictured top: Family allowance payments could be stopped for higher income families. 

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