During the 2024 Spring Budget speech, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt outlined that one of the areas for change was the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC). 

Prior to 6 April 2024, the adjusted net income threshold for the HICBC was £50,000 and from 6 April 2024, this has risen to £60,000. For those earning between £60,000 and £80,000, there will be a gradual clawback of child benefit which is equal to one percent of every £200 of income that exceeds £60,000. These changes mean that it will only be those earning £80,000 or more that will have to repay all of their child benefit.

This is an increase from the previous thresholds for clawback of the benefit which concerned those earning between £50,000 and £60,000, with those earning £60,000 repaying all the child benefit they received.

The Chancellor recognised that the rules for receiving child benefit can be unfair as there can be disparity between household incomes. For example, a single parent household may have someone earning £65,000 who, under the rules, would be subject to withdrawal of child benefit whereas a household with two adults both earning £50,000 (a combined household income of £100,000) would receive child benefit in full. The government will set up a consultation for an alternative system for HICBC, based on total household income rather than an individual's income. It is anticipated that the new system should be in force by April 2026.

The current rates of child benefit are:

  • £25.60 a week for the eldest or only child
  • £16.95 a week for younger children

Even as a "high earner", there are many benefits to claiming child benefit which are outlined in a previous insight article.


Kevin Winters