I agree with my hon. Friend. It is specifically the impact on people working in, for instance, the retail sector that has prompted me to apply for this debate. I am sure that my hon. Friend and I agree that we do not want to see anything that makes it potentially less attractive for people to go out to work.
Couples and single parents who currently work for at least 16 hours a week are eligible for working tax credit. According to the Government’s proposals, from April couples will have to work an extra eight hours in order to qualify. Failure to secure additional work will exempt claimants from the credit completely. The reality is that about 280,000 families in receipt of working tax credit currently work less than 24 hours a week. Under the proposals, they could lose up to £4,000 a year.