To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the median (a) working tax credit and (b) working families tax credit payment received by (i) lone parent households and (ii) non-lone parent households was in each year for which figures are available.
Lone parent and couple families receive the same award where their family income and other circumstances (such as the number of children) are the same. There are a number of factors affecting average awards, including:
couple families tend to have more children, increasing their child tax credit (CTC) award. (The December 2005 tax credit statistics showed that in-work couple families had on average 1.8 children per family compared to 1.5 for in-work lone parents.); lone parents tend to have lower incomes than couple families, increasing their award. (The statistics show that 27 per cent. of in-work lone parent families have gross incomes below £5,220 compared to 4 per cent. of in-work couple families.); and lone parents are more likely to benefit from the childcare element of the working tax credit (WTC) designed to help more people move into work. (The statistics show around two-thirds of recipients of the child care element are lone parents, with the remaining third being couple families.)
The median weekly entitlements to WTC and CTC are £109.96 for lone parent families and £96.50 for couples with children, based on finalised 2003–04 awards. The median weekly entitlements for working families tax credit are £88.95 for lone parent families and £75.59 for couples with children, based on figures for November 2002. Such data for later years are not available.