Clause 9 - Maximum rate

Tax Credits Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 17th January 2002.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 11:15 am, 17th January 2002

I beg to move amendment No. 50, in page 6, line 32, at end insert


(c) an element in respect of any second adult in the benefit unit'.

Photo of Jimmy Hood Jimmy Hood Chair, European Scrutiny Committee

With this we may take amendment No. 51, in clause 24, page 16, line 30, at end insert

'except where an employee requests payment into an account notified to the Board or via a Post Office, in which case the employee shall be entitled to receive payment in this manner'.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Clause 9 refers to the maximum rate of child tax credit payable. At present it can increase in respect of an amount per family and an amount per child. Amendment No. 50 proposes a further element, which would apply to families in which there was a second adult in the benefit unit; essentially, that means couples, whether married or cohabiting. Conservative amendment No. 51 would have a broadly similar effect and raises the same issues.

The benefit system acknowledges second adults; income support and housing benefit recognise that if there is another mouth to feed in the household, it should be reflected in the amount of money to which people are entitled. However, the tax credit system and the working families tax credit have never operated on that basis. There is a danger of inequity between a lone-parent family and a two-parent family on the same given income, because the two-parent family—

It being twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned till this day at half-past Two o'clock.