11/08/2003

Inland Revenue highlights tax credits uptake

Of the six million families expected to benefit from the Child and Working Tax Credits, more than 5.7 million families are doing so already, according to the Inland Revenue (IR).

Over 250,000 more tax credit awards were put in place over the last four weeks alone, the IR said.

The response to the tax credits has been even better than was predicted, with record levels of claims compared with the introduction of Family Credit, which had 57% take-up in its first year, the IR has claimed.

Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo said: "The new tax credits mark the biggest revolution to the tax and benefits system since Beveridge. It is a measure of their tremendous success that, only four months into the new system, families are already benefiting in such numbers.

"The new tax credits are expected to provide over £16 billion a year - including an additional £2.7 billion in 2003/4 - in support for families with children and low-income working households. No government has ever spent so much on supporting families with children."

The Working Tax Credit helps make work pay for workers in low-income households, including disabled workers. It replaces the adult elements of Working Families' and Disabled Person's Tax Credits and the New Deal 50 plus Employment Credit and extends support to those aged 25 or more without children or a disability where they work at least 30 hours a week. Over 1.35 million families are expected to receive Working Tax Credit, including 250,000 households receiving only Working Tax Credit – which is expected to provide over £3 billion of support a year for working households.

(gmcg)

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