Child Benefit and Guardian's Allowance: Research and reports

Below is a collection of research and reports about child benefit and guardian’s allowance.

Government research and reports

No. 242 - High Income Child Benefit Charge(HICBC) Quantitative Research to test communication products & website

This research report presents the findings of independent research commissioned by HMRC. The research was conducted in order for HMRC to better understand the customer needs for those affected by the introduction of the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

No. 241 - High Income Child Benefit Charge(HICBC) Qualitative Research to test communication products

This research report presents the findings of independent research commissioned by HMRC. The research was conducted in order for HMRC to better understand the customer needs for those affected by the introduction of the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

No. 150 - Views on eligibility for tax credits and child benefit and any stigma associated with claiming these

This report looks at customers’ views about how levels of income should affect eligibility for tax credits and child benefit. The report is based on a telephone survey of tax credit and child benefit customers during the summer of 2010.

SN/SP/5732 Child benefit for higher rate taxpayers - House of Commons library briefing (November 2010)

The Coalition’s June 10 Budget announced that Child Benefit would remain, but that rates would be frozen for the next three years. At the Conservative Party conference on 4 October, the Chancellor said however that from 2013 Child Benefit would be withdrawn from families with a higher rate taxpayer, saving around £1 billion a year. Child Benefit would continue to be paid to all families, but would be clawed back where the recipient, or their partner, paid higher rate tax. The Spending Review on 20 October 10 revised upward the estimated savings to £2.5 billion a year. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that 1.8 million families will be affected.

Impact of tax and welfare changes on households (Impact of freezing Child Benefit and increases to the Child Tax Credit) - Budget (June 2010)

Poynter Review (June 2008)

A detailed analysis of the chain of events leading to the loss of the Child Benefit data in October 2007. The report is split into two distinct parts:

  1. The Investigation, provides a narrative of how the Child Benefit CDs were lost and a commentary on the causes of the loss.
  2. The Wider Review, is more forward-looking and contains my recommendations on how to improve information security at HMRC.

Ending child poverty: everybody's business (12 March 2008)

A reported produced by HM Treasury, Department for work and Pensions, and Department for Children, Schools and Families.

No.129 HMRC Child Benefit Claim Pack

Research Research report looking at various aspects of the Child benefit Claim Pack

No.80 Claimants’ experiences of aligned tax credit and child benefit service relating to reporting education status (HMRC 2007)

Claimants of tax credits and Child Benefit who have a child aged 16 or over have to report changes in the young person's educational status separately to both the tax credits and Child Benefit helplines. In 2007, HMRC piloted an aligned process designed to offer claimants the opportunity to update the information on their child's education status held on the tax credits and Child Benefit records during one single telephone call. This report presents the findings o6f the independent qualitative research HMRC commissioned to explore claimants' experiences and views of the aligned process. Claimants' views of the alignment of other Child Benefit and tax credits processes were also explored in the study.

No.79 Claimants’ experiences of aligning child tax credit and child benefit notification processes for births and their wider views of alignment and data sharing (HMRC 2007)

Claimants of tax credits and Child Benefit have to report the birth of a new baby to both the tax credits and Child Benefit helplines. In 2007, HMRC piloted an aligned process which offered claimants the opportunity to report the new birth to both the Child Benefit and tax credits systems in one telephone call. This report presents the findings of independent qualitative research HMRC commissioned to explore the experiences and views of both the aligned and non-aligned processes of reporting the birth of a new baby. The extent to which claimants would like to see an aligned service extended to other changes of circumstances was also explored in the study.

Research paper 05/02 ‘The Child Benefit Bill’ (House of Commons Library January 2005)

This paper discusses the policy changes set out in the Child Benefit Bill introduced in December 2004.

Report 174 ‘A comparison of Child Benefit packages in 22 countries’ (2002)

This report, carried out by the University of York on behalf of DWP, examines the child benefit system across 22 countries and compares it to the UK.

Research paper 98/79 ‘Child Benefit’ (House of Commons Library July 1998)

This paper considers the history and possible reforms of child benefit including: the raising of the rate of child benefit for the first child by over 20% from April 1999; taxing child benefit for higher rate taxpayers; and replacing child benefit with a means-tested benefit for those aged 16 and over.

Beveridge report (1942):

The Beveridge Report was the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services chaired by William Beveridge, an economist.The report identified five "Giant Evils" in society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease, and went on to propose widespread reform to the system of social welfare to address these. It also provided the foundation for child benefit.

Adjudicator’s Office and Ombudsman’s reports

The Adjudicator’s Office investigates complaints about HMRC, and the Ombudsman’s office investigates complaints made against a wide range of Government departments including HMRC.

More information about the Adjudicator complaints process and about taking a child benefit case to the Ombudsman can be found in the child benefit guidance section of this website.

Each year, the Adjudicator’s Office publishes a report which sets out the number of complaints dealt with and the number that were upheld. The report also highlights key areas of concern as well as a series of case studies showing the outcome as well as the reasoning for each example. Whilst they have not yet dealt with any child benefit complaints, you can find their reports in the tax credits policy section of this website.

Non Government research and reports

Institute for Fiscal Studies ‘Child Benefit will mean some worse off after pay rise’ (October 2010) This article, by Mike Brewer, discusses the removal of child benefit from households with higher rate taxpayers.

Child Poverty Action Group 'Child Benefit: Fit for the future 60 years of support for children'(August 2006) This report was written by CPAG on the 60th anniversary of family allowances – the predecessor of child benefit. It explains the history, importance and value of child benefit as well as considering various policy options.

University of Warwick (Economic research papers), ‘Who benefits from child benefit?’ (February 2006). A paper which discusses who actually benefits from the receipt of child benefit in a household.

Updated 9 June 2016