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Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 20 July 2006

My right honourable friend the Paymaster General (Dawn Primarolo) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Chief Secretary made a Statement on 12 July 2005, at col. 723 of the Official Report, on timing of the phased transfer on to child tax credit (CTC) of the remaining families with children receiving family support through income support/jobseeker’s allowance.

Following further consideration of the proposed timetable, I have decided that the transfer should be deferred until 2007. My decision reflects the fact that it is extremely important to safeguard continuity of support for children among this particularly vulnerable group. The postponement will allow a number of planned tax credits measures, which I announced at the Pre-Budget Report, some of which require system changes, to be introduced before support for these families’ children is transferred to child tax credit.

I will make a final decision next year on whether the transfer should go ahead in 2007 as currently planned. My decision will again be taken in the light of the importance I attach to ensuring the continuity of support that these families receive for their children. Families will continue to receive financial support through their benefits until they are transferred on to child tax credit.

It remains the Government's firm intention to migrate all income-based support for children into a single, seamless system of support delivered through child tax credit.