Family Allowances Act 1945

The Family Allowances Act 1945 (8 & 9 Geo. VI c. 41) was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It came into operation from August 6, 1946, and was the first law to provide child benefit in the United Kingdom.

Family allowances had been one of the items proposed by the Beveridge Report in 1942. The Labour Party briefly debated pressing for allowances during the Second World War, but a party conference resolution to this end was opposed by the trades unions for fear that the amount paid would be taken into account in wage negotiations, leaving workers no better off.

As passed, the Act empowered the Minister of National Insurance to pay an allowance of five shillings per week for each child in a family other than the eldest; later Acts increased this sum. It was payable whilst the child was of school age, up to the age of eighteen, if apprenticed or in full-time school education.

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