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Low Incomes

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to assist people on low incomes; and if he will make a statement. (208030)

Since 1997 the Government have introduced a series of reforms to make work pay and to guarantee minimum weekly incomes for families with and without children. By October 2008, in real terms, families with children in the poorest fifth of the population will be, on average, £4,100 a year better off.

The working tax credit and the national minimum wage work together to provide a guaranteed income in work. The minimum income guarantee for single people aged 25 or over, and in full-time work, has increased by 30 per cent. in real terms since 1999.

On 13 May 2008, the Chancellor announced further support for low and middle-income families for 2008-09. For the current tax year, income tax personal allowances will be increased by £600 for all tax payers under 65. Around 22 million basic-rate taxpayers will benefit from this change.

The Government will set out plans for future years in the 2008 pre-Budget report, with the aim to continue the same level of support for those on lower incomes.