Tax Credits– Many Working families will lose out on working tax credits from April 2012.
Couples with children will have to work 24 hours a week between them, with one partner working at least 16 hours a week in order to qualify for Working Tax Credit from April 2012.
Previously as long as one person in a couple worked 16 hours then this would have allowed possible qualification for working tax credit(subject to a means test).
In a joint open letter to David Cameron , USDAW and many charities claim it will affect up to 212,000 couples, leave many of those worse off in work than on benefits and put 424,000 adults and 470,000 children at risk of falling into poverty. The difficulty is that during the recession many families will be hard pressed to find the few hours extra work required to keep them in the working tax credit system and it seems a backward step seeing that Universal Credit (without hours rules) will start to be introduced from next year.
Employment and Support Allowance- In another contentious change, an incentive to try work for those on ESA is being abolished. The 104 linking rule currently allows a claimant to go back on the same rate of benefit without penalty if they come off ESA to go into work and return within 104 weeks. It will no longer apply from 30/4/2012. See our Back to Work Benefits Course for training.

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