To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of families that will directly benefit from the tax-free childcare scheme that will be (a) couples and (b) lone parents.
Based on the best available data, we expect Tax-Free Childcare will be open to at least twice as many families as Employer Supported Childcare.
Tax-Free Childcare will be launched in autumn 2015 and rolled out to all eligible families with children under 12 within the first year of the scheme’s operation, instead of just to under-fives in the first year. This will deliver support much more quickly, with around 1.9 million working families now qualifying within the first year.
Working lone parents are more likely to have lower income levels than working couples. More lone parents will therefore receive support for child care through tax credits and then subsequently universal credit, which is generally more generous than Tax-Free Childcare.
It is estimated that, of the families that will directly benefit from the Tax-Free Childcare scheme, around 95% are couples and 5% are lone parents.
The latest 2011-12 Child and Working Tax Credits finalised annual awards publication show that of the families that benefit from the childcare element of tax credits, 39% are couples and 61% are lone parents.