Clare asked me to publish her thoughts on affordable child benefit as follows.
"The issue of reducing the bill for child benefit is hotly debated in the media and I have a suggestion. Universal child benefit should be continued, with a modification which would reduce its cost. All parents currently receiving the benefit should continue to receive it in full: this would circumvent the issues relating to increasing poverty for existing large families.
New parents should receive the benefit for two children only, however.
Personally I found child benefit a very useful addition to family income but (like many others, I suspect) I would never have considered applying for any state aid which was not in the form of a universal grant."