Overview of the Act
8.In March 2004 HM Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education and Skills published a report concerning financial support for young persons in the context of their education and training entitled “Supporting young people to achieve: towards a new deal for skills”. The Child Benefit Act stems from the findings made in that report.
9.The Act amends the definition of a child by replacing it with a definition of a child and a definition of a qualifying young person. Under the new provisions a child is defined as a person who has not attained the age of 16. A qualifying young person is defined as a person, other than a child, who has not attained the age (greater than 16) that is prescribed in regulations, and who satisfies prescribed conditions. It is the intention that in the first instance regulations under the powers introduced by the Act should extend child benefit entitlement to include young people who are on specified unwaged vocational training arranged by the Government as well as those in full-time, non-advanced education. The Government also intends to extend support to 19 year olds completing a course of learning begun before they reached that age. Future changes to the scope of entitlement will respond to developments in curriculum policy and further consultation.