The mess over child benefit changes is a timely illustration of why universal benefits, if combined with a progressive tax system, are the fairer and more efficient way of ensuring the benefits system is not riddled with the anomalies and boundary problems prevalent in the prescription charge system ("Attacks from all sides as child benefit cuts kick in", The Herald, January 7).

How many additional civil service hours are being used to administer the complexities of the new child benefit arrangements?

The attack on universal benefits is the future Johann Lamont is offering Scotland. I'm sure she will get Tory support.

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Isobel Lindsay,

9 Knocklea Place,