- 10 updates
London Mayor Boris Johnson has said in the Telegraph that it is a 'relief' that child benefit will no longer be available to 'middle-class' families such as his own.
Mr Johnson wrote in the paper that it was an, "absurd system whereby low-income people paid in their taxes for richer families to receive this Mussolini-like reward for procreation."
He calculates that his family has received, "about £47,547.40" in child benefit and says; "I feel both grateful and appalled to have profited in this way, and a sense of intellectual relief that today, the madness comes to an end."
The Mayor adds that the fact there will be "some losers" is part of welfare reform:
"I know that some people worry about the perverse impacts of the £50,000 threshold – and yes, I suppose it is an unfairness that a household with, say, two incomes each of £49,000 could continue to get the benefit in full, while a family with a single breadwinner on £60,000 would lose it altogether.
"But that is the trouble with any reform of a benefits system that now costs £207 billion a year."
Labour's Treasury Minister Chris Leslie spoke to ITV Daybreak about the new child benefit changes.
From today anyone earning more than £60,000 a year won't get the weekly allowance from the government.
And more than a million families are expected to be affected by the change.
He said the whole thing was 'completely upside down and very unfair'.
If your income is under £50,000 per year, you will be unaffected by changes to child benefits.
If you earn between £50,000 and £60,000 per year, you will lose some of your child benefit payments from January 7th.
If you earn over £60,000 per year, you will lose all your child benefit payment.
Those earners can choose to either stop the child benefit payment or to be charged the equivalent of the payment in extra tax.
Labour claimed cuts to child benefit that came into effect at midnight, combined with a three-year benefits and tax credits squeeze, was a "huge assault" on millions of working families.
Research compiled by the Commons library for the shadow equalities minister Yvette Cooper shows 4.6 million women who receive child tax credit directly will be hit by a cap on welfare increases, according to the Guardian.
Anthony Douglas, chief executive of Cafcass, the organisation that represents children in care cases, told the Independent he feared the number of cases could rise by up to 8%.
He added: "Given what we know about the association between poverty deprivation and care, the increase in economic difficulties can take away the margins of support for people who are just managing to keep things together.
"Often quite small amounts of support can make all the difference. So I think that there is a risk of underestimating the way in which this support can keep some families going."
Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday defended cuts to child benefit payments, which sees families with one earner on more than £50,000 lose some or all of the payment while households with two parents with salaries just under the trigger keep theirs, insisting the move was "fundamentally fair".
David Cameron has defended the changes to child benefits, which comes into force tomorrow, saying that they are "fair".
ITV News political correspondent Libby Wiener reports:
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps indicated the child benefit reforms had been unpopular in his own home and said he feels "the pain" of the cut.
He told the World this Weekend:
David Cameron told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show that the Government's changes to child benefit do not punish traditional families but make the system fairer.