To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the most recent estimate of the costs of increasing the couple element in tax credits to ensure that couples do not face a disadvantage when compared to lone parents for each of the next five years. [HL5611]
Tax credits treat couple and lone parent households equally, and are not designed to favour any particular arrangement. Levels of financial support are determined by need, and are based on the number of children in the family and the household's income. Indicative costs of changes to certain rates and thresholds in tax credits were most recently published in November 2008 in table 4 of Tax ready reckoner and tax reliefs, available at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/pbr08_tax readyreckoner_287.pdf.