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Tax Credits

Volume 587: debated on Tuesday 4 November 2014

When the Chancellor came to office, less than a quarter of housing benefit claimants in Croydon were making claims to supplement low pay. Today that figure is two fifths. Will the Minister apologise for pushing growing numbers of hard-working Croydon families into poverty?

When it comes to the cost of living, Labour’s great recession is what made the country and the hon. Gentleman’s constituents a whole lot poorer. We now have record levels of employment, including a 9% increase in his constituency. Perhaps he would like to welcome that.

There are a great many studies and much empirical evidence showing that the surest way to combat poverty is through work. Is it not a badge of pride for this Government that in four years we have reduced the number of people in households where no one works by 671,000?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. When it comes to tackling the country’s economic problems, we can improve living standards only by getting more people back into work. This Government have been reducing child poverty and ensuring that work pays.

Tax credits are meant to be moving into universal credit. What timetable is the Treasury working to for phasing out tax credits?

If someone comes here to work from the European Union, and if they are in a relatively low-paid job and receive tax credits as a form of benefit, they might effectively be paying no tax at all. Will the Government tell the European Commission that we should have a new system by which people have to pay tax for at least three years before drawing any tax credits or benefits?

We have already made changes to that whole area, and that is something we will look at further.