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Is Canada Child Benefit (CCB) the Best Scheme? World Comparison, Meaning and Analysis

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Canada child benefits (CCB) is run and administered by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). Under this scheme, eligible beneficiaries can get tax-free monthly payments. The primary objective is to provide for the cost of raising a child in Canada.   

The maximum that you can get under this scheme is $248.75 per month, with a maximum annual benefit of $2,985 per child.  

If you are eligible for CCB, you can also get two more monthly benefits, that are:  

  • National Child Benefit: Extended to families with children that have income below the specified threshold  
  • Child Disability Benefit: Extended to families with children suffering from mental or physical disabilities.   

Social welfare has been the primary agenda for governments across the world. They also incorporate schemes, like that of CCB. Let us have a look at the major ones.

Child Benefit Schemes Across the World

As per the global definition, any benefit paid to the parents or guardians of a child, and in some cases, young adults, come under the ambit of the “child benefit”. Usually, the amount that the beneficiary receives is based on the income level and the number of children.

Let us have a closer look at what similar benefits the other countries offer.

OCEANIA

1. Australia

Based on the Australian Income Tax system, family benefits are extended to eligible individuals in Australia. It is payable to children up to the age of 24. Additionally, children who are 16 and above can get themselves enrolled in the youth allowance.

The family benefit is extended in two different parts, which are:

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A:
    • Assists the beneficiaries to compensate for the general cost of raising kids
    • This benefit is paid for dependent children up to 20 years of age
    • For dependent full-time students, this age limit is 24 years (must not be getting youth allowance and other similar benefits)
    • The maximum benefit is paid to families that have an annual income of up to $28,200
  • Family Tax Benefit Part B:
    • Gives income support to single-income and sole-parent families having children less than 5 years of age
    • The maximum benefits are paid if the secondary earner’s income is less than $1,616 per annum

2. New Zealand

After adopting the universal child benefit program in 2018, New Zealand now pays $60 per week under the scheme of Best Start Payment. This benefit is available to eligible parents who have newborn dependents.

EUROPE

3. Finland

The Finnish Social Insurance Institution (KELA) pays child benefits in Finland. It is paid to children who are less than 17 years and reside in Finland. This child benefit is pre-decided and increases for every subsequent child.

Additionally, single parents also get a supplement for their every child. This benefit is about 46.79 euros.

4. Ireland

The Department of Social Protection pays child benefits or “Sochar Leanai” to children under 16 years of age in Ireland. This limit is 18 years for children who are full-time students.

  • A monthly payment of €140 is paid to every child
  • In the case of twins, the payment is 150%, that is €210
  • The triplets are paid 200%, that is €280

Additionally, in the event of multiple births, a special “one-off” grant is also paid. It amounts to €635.


5. Netherlands and Germany

In entire western Europe, the Netherlands pays the lowest towards child benefits. In 2021, it paid the following benefits:

Age GroupBenefit per Child per Month
Less than 5 years€55.75
Between 6 and 11 years€67.75
Between 12 and 17 years€79.75

When it comes to Germany, it pays about 4 times what the Netherlands pays.

ASIA

6. India

Marred by high female infanticide due to preference for male babies, the Government of India largely pays out child benefits to the parents of the girl child under various schemes. These are:

  • Balika Samridhhi Yojana: This scheme provides cash support to the young girls and their families in the form of scholarships. When studying in a school, a girl child receives INR 300 to 1000 annually.
  • Ladli Scheme: The Indian state ofHaryana, which suffers from the worst sex ratio offers an annual reward of INR 5,000 upon the birth of a second girl child.

7. China

Presently being the most populated country in the world, China offers child benefits in the form of tax deductions.

  • As per the Individual Income Tax Law, education expenses up to RMB 1,000 can be claimed as a deduction. This benefit is only available to parents with children above 3 years of age.
  • Starting from June 1, 2019, till 2025, the childcare industry is exempt from VAT (Value Added Tax)

8. Russia

In Russia, child benefits are paid by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation. These are:

  • Starting from June 1, 2022, Russians who have children between 3 and 16 years are eligible to receive a one-time child benefit of 10,000 roubles.
  • Additionally, in another support measure, Russian families with children under 3 years of age are eligible to get 5,000 roubles quarterly.

Is CCB The Best?

YES – When it comes to child benefits, Canada does pay handsome sums of money to their citizens. It is quite competitive when compared with the European and Oceania countries.

For instance,

  • New Zealand pays NZD 60 a week, which comes out to be NZD 240 a month or CAD192 as against CAD 248.75 paid under CCB.
  • If we consider the Netherlands, it pays a maximum of €79.75 or CAD 104.75 per month per child
  • Similarly, Ireland pays €140, or CAD 183.56

Furthermore, CCB is way ahead of the benefits, tax deductions, or cash rewards offered by Asian countries. None of the above-stated countries in Asia offer a monthly cash benefit to eligible beneficiaries.

Thus, we can state that CCB is the best scheme in the world. However, in view of the rising inflation (even the BoC has increased its rates), the Government of Canada should revise the benefits and align them with the cost of living.


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