Work and Pensions
Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde, Labour)
To ask the Secretary for Work and Pensions what (a) transitional arrangements and (b) additional services will be put in place for couples with children including one partner who claims (i) carer's allowance as a full-time carer and (ii) incapacity benefit who work between 16 and 24 hours a week and will lose their entitlement to working tax credit unless they increase their hours of work to over 24 hours a week.
David Gauke (Exchequer Secretary, HM Treasury; South West Hertfordshire, Conservative)
I have been asked to reply.
Couples with children will continue to qualify for working tax credit where at least one member of a couple works at least 16 hours per week and that person is eligible for the working tax credit disability element or is aged 60 or over.
Couples with children where one partner is being paid a carer's allowance as a full time carer of their partner will also continue to qualify where working 16 hours or more a week.
Couples with children may also qualify for working tax credit if one member of a couple works at least 16 hours a week and a qualifying sickness or disability benefit, for example, incapacity benefit is payable for the other.
HMRC is not planning to make any transitional arrangements or provide additional services for couples with children who may lose entitlement to working tax credit as a result of the change to the working hours conditions in April 2012.
HMRC will be writing to those who may be affected before the end of this year to advise them of the change and what they need to do if they wish to continue to qualify for working tax credit.