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Child Support

Volume 403: debated on Monday 10 March 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the change in Government financial support for children since 1997. [101364]

From this April, the introduction of the new tax credits, the Working Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, will provide more generous support for families with children—with more for those on lower incomes.The Child Tax Credit combined with Child Benefit will deliver up to £54.10 a week in support for first child, compared to £27.70 a week in April 1997.Under the new tax credits:

the average gain for those currently receiving Working Families Tax Credit will be £12 per week;
families on Income Support and income based Jobseeker's Allowance will gain an average of £11 per week;
students and student nurses with children could gain up to £38 per week for the first child; and
over 500,000 one-earner families with children with incomes over £30,000 a year will become newly eligible for support for their children.

This builds on existing policies to support families financially:

we have provided record increases in Child Benefit. From April 2003, the rate of Child Benefit for the first child will rise to £16.05, a 25 per cent. increase in real terms on the 1997 level;
we introduced the Children's Tax Credit in April 2001, now worth up to £529 a year;
we have introduced the Working Families' Tax Credit (WFTC), which benefits over 1.3 million families, and nearly 2.7 million children;
as part of the Working Families Tax Credit, 175,000 thousand families received help with their child care costs, more than three times the number who benefited from the old child care disregard in Family Credit. We are currently paying out £1 million a day in child care tax credit; and
we have increased the children's allowances in Income Support and other income-related benefits, including a doubling in real terms of the rates for children under 11.