Child Tax Credit A ‘Giant Step’ To Counter Poverty - Biden

No fewer than 35 million American families have begun receiving their first monthly payout from the US government in an expanded income-support programme that President Joe Biden believes could help end child poverty.

Findings by Africa Today News, New York revealed that under the Child Tax Credit programme that was broadened under Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus, eligible families would receive an initial monthly payment of up to $300 for each child under six years old and up to $250 for each older child.

Payouts made to families, covering nearly 60 million eligible children, totalled about $15bn for July. The payments are automatic for many US taxpayers, while others need to sign up.

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Biden has indicated that he wants to extend expanded, monthly benefits for years to come as part of a $3.5 trillion spending plan being considered by Senate Democrats, who expect strong Republican opposition to the full bill.

‘It’s our effort to make another giant step towards ending child poverty in America, this can be life-changing for so many families’ Biden said in a speech.

The Child Tax Credit is being likened to a universal basic income for children, although it has income limits. It is expected to help people meet monthly expenses from rent to food and daycare.

The Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University estimated the expansion can reduce the US child poverty rate by up to 45 percent.

Critics have said the expanded credit is expensive and may discourage people from working. Some experts said it may not reach some of the poorest Americans who are not in the tax system.