Select Committee on Work and Pensions First Special Report


Archy Kirkwood Esq, MP
Work and Pensions Select Committee
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

20 July 2001

Dear Mr Chairman


The Government welcomes this report and the Select Committee's interest in the development of the new integrated system of support for children. The input of committee members with experience and commitment to this area of policy making is most helpful.

The integrated child credit is central to our continuing commitment to abolish child poverty within a generation and it is extremely helpful to hear from the expert witnesses who submitted evidence to the inquiry. Officials involved in the development of the new credit have a continuing dialogue with many of the groups who submitted evidence and we regard this kind of dialogue as a key element of the Government's evidence­based approach to policy making.

The Inland Revenue has today published a consultation document detailing the Government's proposal to introduce two new tax credits in 2003, an integrated child credit and an employment tax credit. In putting together this consultation document consideration has been given to the many important issues and recommendations raised in the Committee's report as well as to the evidence submitted to the Committee by some of the acknowledged experts in this area. The Committee's report has been invaluable in informing the Government's thinking.

The consultation document provides a detailed description of how the new tax credit system is intended to work and sets out the proposed basic rules and eligibility criteria. A copy of the consultation document is attached. The Government's responses to the Committee's recommendations are set out below and, where appropriate, reference is made to that part of the consultation document covering the issues raised in a particular recommendation. Recommendations covering related themes have been grouped together.

Once again we thank the Committee for their detailed and helpful report and look forward to hearing the views of the Committee members and others during the consultation period.

Dawn Primarolo
Paymaster General
Right Honourable Baroness Hollis
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

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