Concern over tax changes

Lindsay Roy
Lindsay Roy

CHANGES to the tax credits system will have a serious impact on more than 1100 people in this area when they come into force next month.

That’s according to MP Lindsay Roy after figures showed 280 families with 545 children face losing working tax credit worth £3870 unless they increase their working hours to 24 a week.

At the moment, couples with children have to work at least 16 hours a week between them to qualify for this credit but, next month, that will change.

Mr Roy said: “If they can’t up their hours, and that will be exceedingly difficult in the current economic climate, they will lose their whole entitlement to the credit, worth £3870 a year.

“Just how difficult it will be to find extra work has been amply illustrated by Usdaw, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, which says 78 per cent of their members won’t be able to get extra hours.”

The new rules will last until October 2013 when universal credit is introduced, but Mr Roy fears many families will be forced in to real poverty in the meantime.

He continued: “A typical household with two children, where a couple work between 16 and 24 hours a week, has total income, including wages, tax credits and benefits, of around £17,000 a year.

“That in itself places them in or on the threshold of poverty.”