Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Real help now for working families

“I urge all working parents to check their entitlement to tax credits, particularly if they have recently suffered a reduction in income”, said David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Crewe and Nantwich.

David Williams continued: “Tax credits respond quickly in a downturn, helping people whose incomes have fallen. During this global economic downturn, they are helping a greater number of people than normal.

“Tackling child poverty is a key commitment for Labour in Government. Labour believes that the best way to eliminate child poverty is by making work pay for parents and ensuring that parents have access to work through flexible working and affordable childcare.

“Labour is providing real help now for working parents.”

Tax Credit Facts

Tax credits provide support to around 20 million people including 6 million families and 10 million children. Nine of out ten families are entitled to tax credits. Labour’s reforms since 1997 mean that on average families with children are £2,350 a year better off, while those in the poorest families are £4,750 a year better off.

Tax credits and the minimum wage improve work incentives and tackle in-work poverty by guaranteeing minimum incomes. Low-paid workers with children are at least 25% better off with tax credits, which deliver around £20 billion to low income families.

Families are getting more support from tax credits with the average award increasing by £200 compared to 2006-07.

Take up of Child Tax Credits is a success. In 2006/7 take up of the Child Tax Credit is 81%; among those on incomes below £10,000 it is 92%; and among lone parents it is 95%. Tax credits help with childcare costs - with up to 80% of childcare costs covered.

Tax credits have played a key role in tackling child poverty. Since 1998-99, 500,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty and the number in absolute poverty has been halved – compared to a doubling of child poverty in the previous 20 years.

414,000 families benefited from the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit, an 8%increase on 2006-07. This makes childcare more affordable and gives parents more choice in how they balance work and family life.

9% more families benefited from extra help for workers with a disability – compared to 2006-07. This helps individuals overcome labour market disadvantage.

Those responsible for at least one child or young person who lives with them, may qualify for Child Tax Credit. The regular payment supports families including those with 16 to 19 year olds in full-time education or training. Extra money is available if a child is disabled. The award is based on income and available both when in and out of work.

Please go to the HMRC website to check your eligibility.

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