Working Tax Credit change will soon hit thousands, warns MP Jim Fitzpatrick
PUBLISHED: 16:00 14 March 2012
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.”
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.
“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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