Re: Child benefit... @AC
I was not suggesting that you did not agree, rather pointing out how stupid the HMRC systems are.
I also agreed that if the child benefit bill needed to be cut, that my family should be in the group for whom it was removed, but that still made it a little unwelcome (who actually likes losing income that they've previously received).
I think that it should be possible for the person earning the income to inform DWP that child benefit should not be paid to their spouse, but that is not the way it works (I suppose that there is some justification to avoid vexatious claims). Child benefit was always paid to the woman, supposedly so that they had control of it to spend on the children rather than it being pissed up the wall by their stereotypical drunken layabout husband. And as a result, the woman has to say they don't want it any more.
But I wonder how many women are not told by their husbands that they are higher-rate tax payers, and the women neglect to say that they're receiving child benefit? Do HMRC actually perform any checks to see whether people are not declaring that the household is receiving child benefit?