Letter: After marriage

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I wonder if the Chancellor's Budget changes to child benefit and his professed wish to support families will encourage him to remedy an injustice which has been given little publicity.

Separated parents are rightly encouraged to continue to share the care of their children, but shared caring arrangements are not recognised by the child benefit system; only one parent can get child benefit at any time. Moreover, entitlement to income support and family credit for children depends on entitlement to child benefit, so a parent living on benefits who has their child three days a week has no entitlement to income support for the child and no entitlement to child benefit or family credit at all.

This situation is grossly unfair to the parent not in receipt of child benefit and in some cases causes real hardship. Surely it is not beyond the wit of government to devise arrangements for splitting these benefits between parents sharing the care of children?

JULIA KENT

Partner, Franklins Solicitors

Abingdon, Oxfordshire

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