Child benefit could be withdrawn from the parents of children who persistently commit crimes or play truant under p...
Child benefit could be withdrawn from the parents of children who persistently commit crimes or play truant under plans being driven through the cabinet by Tony Blair, reported The Sunday Telegraph (p1).
The plan has split the cabinet, alarming ministers who think it would be unfair to take away benefits from families struggling close to the poverty line. Chancellor Gordon Brown and the work and pensions secretary, Alistair Darling, are both opposed to the scheme.
Five departments are involved: the home office; work and pensions, the treasury; the lord chancellor's office; and education and skills.
Education secretary Estelle Morris is said to have 'come over all social worker-ish' when the idea was first proposed, but is now going along with Mr Blair's wishes. It is being strongly supported by home secretary David Blunkett, DTLR secretary Stephen Byers and culture secretary Tessa Jowell.