The Mumsnet crowd are livid. It must be doubly annoying for them after they had nice Nick and dishy Dave over for biscuits during the election without any webchat about child benefit cuts. Nevertheless, was it ever sensible to tax people nearly half their income and then give them little welfare transfers back?
Frankly welfare universalism is a political con, it makes no sense economically and the logic of it is entirely cynical. The left wants to get the middle-classes to buy in to the welfare state, to do that they have to bind the middle-classes in. The left argues – quite openly – that if the middle-classes don’t see any benefits from the welfare state they’ll vote against it. It would be far more efficient to tax people less rather than hand them a little back after their taxes have passed through the hands of bureaucrats.