Social policy academics say raise Child Benefit to help families in crisis

Our advice to Government, as social security experts, is that a rise in Child Benefit offers an immediate way forward.
- Professor Sir John Hills

With millions of families facing a catastrophic loss of income due to the coronavirus, 85 leading social policy academics from LSE and universities across the UK, have signed a letter calling on the Chancellor to raise Child Benefit to £50 per child per week. They say it is a simple, efficient and cost-effective way to provide urgently needed help.

Increasing Child Benefit would immediately get money to families, with no waits, no complex claim forms and no new administration. It just needs a stroke of the Chancellor’s pen and a change to a computer code.

The signatories, including Professor Sir John Hills of LSE and Loughborough University’s Professor Baroness Lister of Burtersett, say in the letter that raising Child Benefit “crucially requires no changes to systems and will offer instant impact”.

They add: “There continues to be frenzied debate about what income support measures are most urgently needed over the next few months, in addition to those already put in place. Our advice to Government, as social security experts who have analysed in detail the relevant data and urgent needs of families, is not to fail to see the wood for the trees. A rise in Child Benefit offers an immediate way forward”.