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Welfare Tax Credits

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the (a) cost and (b) staff time of piloting face-to-face visits for tax credit customers in November and December 2008. (246575)

HMRC have started rolling out new services from December 2008 to make claiming tax credits easier and quicker. The services offered will depend upon the customer's needs and piloting face-to-face visits for tax credit customers will take place in 2009. The costs and benefits of the pilot will inform a decision on a full roll out of this service.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit claims were ended as a result of relationship breakdown in each month of 2006-07; and what the size of the credit claimed was in each case. (246576)

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Each year around 150,000 tax credit customers experience a household break-up.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost of the increase in the tax credits income disregard from £2,500 to £25,000 in each financial year between 2008-09 and 2014-15; and if he will make a statement. (246622)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Rayleigh (Mr. Francois), on 7 November 2006, Official Report column 1043-44W.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the effect on public expenditure of removing the second taper rate of 6.67 per cent. and increasing the first taper rate to (a) 46 per cent., (b) 45 per cent., (c) 44 per cent. and (d) 43 per cent. in each of the next five years; if he will estimate the number of people who would no longer be eligible for tax credits in each case; and if he will make a statement. (246623)

The estimated saving, in 2009-10 to 2013-14, of increasing the first taper rate of tax credits to each of the rates requested, combined with increasing the second taper rate to 100 per cent. is provided in the following table. No account has been taken of possible behavioural effects.

Effect on expenditure

£ million

1st taper

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

46 per cent.

-1,550

-1,600

-1,640

-1,750

-1,840

45 per cent.

-1,370

-1,410

-1,450

-1,540

-1,630

44 per cent.

-1,180

-1,210

-1,240

-1,330

-1,400

43 per cent.

-980

-1,010

-1,030

-1,100

-1,160

These changes would not affect the number of claimants eligible for tax credits. However, they would increase the number of claimants with awards reduced to zero.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many new claims for tax credits have been made in each of the last 24 months. (246898)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend the Exchequer Secretary (Angela Eagle) gave her on 10 December 2008, Official Report column 198W.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to publish the Government's response to its consultation on the tax credit system. (246900)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend the Exchequer Secretary (Angela Eagle) gave her on 10 December 2008, Official Report: column 198W.