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Clause 11 - Changes to child tax credit

Part of Welfare Reform and Work Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Exchequer Secretary 9:45 am, 13th October 2015

I say that these are major structural changes. I think you would admonish me, Mr Streeter, if I went too far down this road, because we had this debate on the Floor of the House and there will be other opportunities to discuss the matter.

We are talking about helping people through the national living wage and increases in the income tax personal allowance, but also through measures such as childcare support and, most important of all, the general strength of the economy. We see real wages rising very strongly at the moment, and we have very low inflation and very strong economic growth. Those are the things that most help families with their budgets and living standards.

In the summer Budget, the Government took steps to put tax credit spending on a more sustainable path, including by limiting the individual element of child tax credit to two children and by removing the family element of child tax credit for those who are not responsible for a child or qualifying young person before 6 April 2017. The average family size in this country has decreased over recent decades. The average number of dependent children in families in the UK in 2012 was 1.7.