Working Tax Credit change will soon hit thousands, warns MP Jim Fitzpatrick

Thousands of families in London’s deprived East End living on part-time wages could lose nearly �4,000 a year from next month because of a change to tax credit rules.

The warning comes from Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick who is urging the government to reconsider a little-noticed change to tax credit rules.

The change from April 6 means more than 2,000 families in his constituency alone are to lose all their working tax credits—unless they can significantly increase their working hours.

“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,” the MP said.

“Few people in part-time work will be able to increase their hours. For a couple with children, losing around �4,000 a year or �75 a week could mean going out to work would make no sense.”

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The change means couples with children earning less than �17,700 will need to increase the time they work from a minimum 16 to 24 hours a week or they lose all their working tax credit of �3,870 a year, Mr Fitzpatrick points out.

“This bombshell is just a few weeks away,” he added. “The change means that going to work won’t pay and many families will be better off on benefits.

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“That makes no economic sense at all—the government urgently needs to think again.”

There are 2,250 couples in Poplar & Limehouse with children who work between 16 and 24 hours a week and are currently entitled to Working Tax Credit. More than 6,000 children will be affected.

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