“Tax credits bombshell” as 245 couples in Corby and East Northamptonshire lose up to £4,000 a year

245 couples with children, in part-time work in Corby in Corby and East Northamptonshire could lose around £4,000 a year from this April, following a change to tax credit rules being introduced by the Coalition government.  Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate Andy Sawford said there is concern amongst many local families about the change, which has been raised with him by more than a dozen families.

The change means that couples with children, earning less than around £17,700 will need to increase the number of hours they work from a minimum of 16 to 24 hours per week or they will lose all their working tax credit of £3,870 per year.  Andy has obtained official figures from the Government that show that the change will effect 245 households in the constituency, impacting 525 children.

A recent survey by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development found that one in five organisations have cut back on the number of hours that people work as a result of the economic downturn, with just 6 per cent increasing them.   Locally in Corby there are now thousands of people out of work and there are very few opportunities for people to work extra hours.

Andy commented: “This is a deeply unfair change from a government that is increasingly out of touch with parents feeling the squeeze and struggling to juggle work and family life. In this economic climate, very few people in part-time work will be able to increase their hours by up to 50 per cent at the moment.  For a couple with children losing around £4,000 a year, or £75 a week, because of this change, they might not think working is worthwhile.

This tax credits bombshell is now just a few weeks away. For many families here in Corby and East Northamptonshire it means going out to work won’t pay and they’ll be better off on benefits. That makes no economic sense at all. The government urgently needs to think again.”

For further information, HMRC’s website explaining the changes says:

At the moment, if you’re responsible for at least one child and working at least 16 hours a week, you can get Working Tax Credit.

From 6 April 2012, the rules for couples with at least one child are changing. In most cases, to qualify for Working Tax Credit your joint working hours will need to be at least 24 a week.

This will mean:

  • if you both work your joint weekly hours must be at least 24, with one of you working at least 16 hours a week
  • if only one of you works, that person must be working at least 24 hours a week
  • If neither of these apply, your Working Tax Credit will stop from 6 April 2012.

 

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