Clergy: Universal Credit

Church Commissioners written question – answered at on 26 March 2024.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Commissioners have had discussions with the Department of Work and Pensions on the potential impact of the migration of claimants of Child Tax Credit to Universal Credit on the financial position of members of the clergy.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Ministry Development Team of the Archbishops’ Council estimates that around 1,800 clergy families are currently in receipt of child tax credits. As has been reported, some of these may stand to lose up to £10,000 a year as a result of the planned migration to Universal Credit.

Representations have been made to the Department of Work and Pensions about the impact on clergy who have savings or property for retirement, of the ineligibility for Universal Credit for those with assets or savings over the £16,000 threshold. A key concern is that this will not only affect living standards for clergy families reliant on stipendiary income but will have an adverse effect on all people in tied accommodation seeking to make adequate provisions for their retirement.

The Ministry Development Team also estimates that around 400 of the 1,800 clergy families receiving child tax credits have more than two children and are therefore also likely to be affected by the two-child cap on Universal Credit.

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