04/10/2010 10:36 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Middle Classes Could Lose Child Benefit In Welfare System Shake-Up

The Conservatives look set to announce plans to means test child benefit under a total reform of the welfare system - the biggest in 60 years.

Around two million middle-class families could lose their child benefit if the plans go ahead.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said the current handouts which make up a variety of benefits could be replaced with a single 'Universal Credit'.

Speaking on the first day of Conservative party conference in Birmingham, Mr Duncan Smith condemned Labour for allowing the welfare state to support those in well-paid employment, saying: 'Under the last government, the whole benefit net rose up the income scale dramatically, where you had people on over £50,000 who were eligible for some form of benefit. I think that is completely bonkers.'

It is believed that Mr Duncan Smith clashed repeatedly with the chancellor, George Osborne, as they attempted to reach a deal on benefit reform. If it goes ahead, the abolition of child benefit could see middle class families losing around £1,055 a year.

What do you think?
Should child benefit be abolished for those in a certain income bracket?
Or does it provide an essential safety net for children?