To summarise, if any member of a household earns more than a certain amount, then some amount (possibly all) of the child benefit received by the mother in the household must be paid back by the high earner in the household. The more you think about this, the more absurdities you will notice.
Some will point out that child benefit should not exist. They are right. My wife receives child benefit and I view it as a small reduction in the vast amount of tax I pay. So these changes mean I will be paying more tax.
But the real problem is that I will also have to fill in forms. I do not like filling in forms. My approach to the state is to bumble along following the path of least resistance, because there are too many other interesting things to do. Until now they have had the good courtesy to quietly steal my money without interrupting the quiet enjoyment of my evenings. I think most middle class families do the same: they get on with it and they do not think about it.
Anyone like me following this path is about to get rudely awakened because they will have been receiving child benefit since April without realising that they need to pay it all back, and to pay it all back they need to register for self-assessment.
Importantly, then: if I am to avoid jail, for the first time in my life I have to actively interact with HMRC. Ignoring them is no longer an option. The same is true for a large section of the population who would rather spend time playing with their children.
Now might be a good time to publicise the idea of a flat tax.