A four country study


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Family Matters article

April 2001

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'Benefits for children: a four country study' is a new international study which discusses and compares the child benefit programs of four countries: Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. These four Anglo-American countries were selected because they share enough similarities, and maintain enough differences, to make it possible to learn from one another and to adapt the lessons to each country. While the study reviews all cash benefits paid to families for their children, it concentrates on the new income tested programs. In Australia, the main program is the Family Tax Benefit Parts A and B; in Canada it is the Canada Child Tax Benefit; in the UK, it is the still to be implemented Integrated Child Credit and the universal Child Benefit; and in the US, it is the Earned Income Tax Credit and child credits and preferences in the tax system. This article is an abridged version of the introductory chapter of the study which compares child benefit programs of the four countries involved. Detailed discussions of the individual programs for each country are found in the other four country chapters of the study.

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