UK Politics

Tory views: Child benefit cut

What do the party faithful at the Conservative conference in Birmingham make of Chancellor George Osborne's decision to end child benefit for top rate taxpayers?

JAMES DONOGHUE, SOMERSET

I think I am in agreement with it. We have got to do something to get some cash. I don't think they should cut the winter fuel allowance though. Why? Because we have paid penal tax rates on our income for years and years and he has got to be conscious of the promise that "we will look after you when you are old". Bus passes should be kept too.

DIANA REECE, TAMWORTH

I have nine grandchildren but I agree with it. When it was family allowance I asked if we could not have it because my husband earned a good enough salary, but they said "no" so we had to have it. It should just go to needy people.

SALLY LOW (WIFE OF HEALTH SECRETARY ANDREW LANSLEY)

I think it is a necessary measure. In my case, it means I will lose about £120/£130 as I have two children. I think it is inevitable because we have got to make savings. People in that bracket are not all super rich and it will make a difference to me because I run my own business. But everybody has got to share some of the austerity and some of the pain. There is no way round it, we have to make these cuts. I would imagine that if you are in that higher rate tax bracket it is difficult to complain.

MONICA HARDIE

It won't affect me because all my children have grown up. If you are earning lots and lots of money, why would you want to accept child benefit? It should really go to the ones who will need it. I was born in Barbados and we didn't have such things as child benefit. People had to go out to work.

Andrew Hardie, Monica's husband, added: "This seems a fair thing to do, to try and balance things out. But I think it will be very difficult, There will be protests about it."

CHARLOTTE BLACK, LONDON

I think it is inevitable, really. I don't have children myself, but I think people here understand that it has got to be done. it is going to be tough for everybody and some people will have to shoulder more of the burden. I think it is good that he is putting it out today, being quite upfront about it and taking time to sell it. I think it was a good idea to put it out now, before the Comprehensive Spending Review, because people will be in danger of being overwhelmed and bamboozled with all the information. You have got to really explain why it is going to focus very much on our supporters , that this is what we have got to do.

DEE SHARPE AND CAROLINE FOX, EAST RIDING

Dee: "I totally agree with it. Because we have put it over so many times that these cuts have got to happen, people are expecting it. I don't think it is going to be such a shock. If my kids were younger and I was in that income bracket I would look at it as playing my part to get the country back on track."

Caroline: "He is clobbering people higher up the income scale to protect those at the bottom. My son and daughter-in-law will be affected. They will probably have a word with me about it! I think it will be worth it if they look at the benefit system, so people are better off if they are in work."