There is, moreover, a second crucial difference between the two types of scheme: the Child Benefit strategy would continue to make transfers to families with children at all income levels. This means that we have to consider issues of equity, not just between rich and poor, but also between those with and without children. We have to examine the way in which families with and without children are valued in our society--an issue not discussed in the standard economic analysis. Should we, other things equal, attach a higher value to £1 received by the person with a child than to a person with no children? Some people would say "no," arguing that having children today is a "lifestyle choice" and that the parent should be treated no differently than if he or she made a different choice. For those making such a judgment, the withdrawal of Child Benefit from those with higher incomes would indeed be the distributionally preferred policy, since income woul dbe taken from those who on average were better off. Such a "lifestyle choice" view, however, attaches no weight to the welfare of the child. Many people would regard this as unacceptable. A single person with a child should be counted as two people. The lifestyle choice view runs counter to the widely adopted practice in distributional analyses of adjusting household income for differences in family composition, as discussed in Chapter 1. Children are here today and should count today--as well as being an important part of the future. This is further reinforced by the demands of intergenerational equity. Taken together, these considerations mean that there should be transfers to families with children at all income levels.
good argument here, definitely convinced me despite my anti-child stance