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Tax Credits

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what advice is made available to those persons on income support when claiming (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit; [116477](2) what assessment he has made of the administration costs for those applying for

(a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit. [116375]

The majority of families on income support (IS) and income based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA(IB)) do not need to claim tax credits now as they will be migrated to Child Tax Credit from April 2004. MIG customers will be migrated by October 2003 to coincide with the introduction of Pension Credit. However a small number of families may be better off claiming tax credits now. Therefore from November 2002, families on benefits, including IS and JSA(IB), have been sent information about, the new tax credits, including information to help them to identify if they will be better off claiming tax credits now. These families can receive further information and help with their claims from their local Jobcentre Plus office, where staff are able to take tax credits claims and change of circumstances, deal with general enquiries and provide calculations to help customers to decide whether they want to claim tax credits now.Inland Revenue helpline staff are also advising families who are on benefits that Jobcentre Plus can help them in this way. In addition they are advising benefit customers that they will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions with more information about the migration to Child Tax Credit nearer the time.Inland Revenue is primarily responsible for the administration of tax credits. The estimated cost of Jobcentre Plus helping benefit customers to transact tax credits business, including taking tax credits claims and change of circumstances, and dealing with customer inquiries, is as follows:

Year£ million
These estimated figures are service delivery costs for Jobcentre Plus. In the light of live running experience, costs and volumes of work will be reviewed during the course of the year.