Clause 34 - Recovery of top-up payments where tax credits award made on a review

Part of Childcare Payments Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:25 am on 28 October 2014.

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Photo of Lucy Powell Lucy Powell Shadow Minister (Education) 9:25, 28 October 2014

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship on this final day of the Committee, Mrs Main.

We have only a few issues to raise regarding clauses 34 to 37, which outline how top-up payments will be recovered in a number of circumstances relating to tax credits and universal credit. I want to take the opportunity to raise again some of the important issues we discussed last week relating to the information that is to be made available to parents so that they have the correct advice when moving between schemes and can make informed choices. As we discussed, their decisions will be complicated.

We also heard last week that the timetable for universal credit has been pushed back further and that there is a possibility that the Government are considering changing the hours rules so that parents will have to work longer to qualify for support. Will the Minister clarify the issues arising from that? The system is so complicated, with variables not only in child care costs but in hours worked, pay received, other benefits received and so on, that it will be incredibly difficult for families on the borderline to know under which scheme they will be better off. We would like that to be addressed in these clauses.