Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Nineteenth Report

Appendix 1

S.I. 2003/492: memorandum from the Commissioners of Inland Revenue

Child Benefit and Guardian's Allowance (Administration) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003/492)

1.  In a letter from the Commons Clerk of the Joint Committee dated 25 March 2003 the following question was asked -

Explain the purpose of regulation 20. Is it intended that a person should be entitled to make an election under that regulation on or after 7 April 2003? If so, describe the circumstances in which such a right might arise.


2.  The Joint Committee will be aware that these regulations are based closely on the previous regulations applying in relation to child benefit and guardian's allowance prior to the transfer of functions relating to those benefits to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue.

3.  Regulation 20 derives from paragraph 1 of Schedule 8 to the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987 (S.I. 1987/1968) and its Northern Ireland equivalent. Its purpose is to preserve the ability of a person to whom child benefit is payable for an uninterrupted period beginning before and ending after 15 March 1982 to make an election to have the benefit paid weekly. Prior to that date, this was a universal right.

4.  It is intended that a person to whom regulation 20 applies should continue to be entitled to make an election under that regulation on or after 7 April 2003.

5.  Although a child in respect of whom child benefit was claimed before 15 March 1982 will no longer be a child, persons entitled to child benefit before that date could have maintained a continuous entitlement to child benefit after that date by having other children in respect of whom child benefit is claimed. Accordingly, although elections under regulation 20 will become rarer as time progresses, the ability of persons to whom the regulation applies to make an election for weekly payment does need to be preserved in order to ensure that they can continue to receive child benefit at weekly intervals if they wish.

27 March 2003

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