Draft Child Tax Credit Regulations 2002 and Others

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Mr. Bercow rose—

Dawn Primarolo: I would be grateful if the hon. Gentleman would allow me to make progress.

We were convinced after consultations that flexibility is necessary and we must follow that through. That raises questions about whether seasonal workers and people with fluctuating working hours know whether they will qualify, and clear guidance will be in notes that accompany the claim form. People will be asked to state the number of hours a week that they normally work at the time they claim the credits, and we aim to get round the problem in that way. That general principle applies to people who are on call-out contracts, because we will examine the hours that they have worked. We will not routinely want the employer to validate those hours, as we do under the working families tax credit. People will complete self-assessments and we will check them. We will have lots of information because many people are already in the system, which is how we can guard against disadvantages that were mentioned. The flexibility rule means that we will consider actual hours worked.

I turn to the question of disability and whether the 16-hour rule is too strict. The rule already applies, and we had to consider carefully the rights of disabled people and whether we would push them into a ghetto if the requirement were less than 16 hours. We decided that we should not risk such people being exploited in the work force under the 16-hour rule. However, we shall continue to review that, as well as child credit and child care arrangements.

Question put and agreed to.


    That the Committee has considered the draft Working Tax Credit (Entitlement and Maximum Rate) Regulations 2002.

Draft Tax Credits

(Definition and Calculation of Income) Regulations 2002

Motion made, and Question proposed,

    That the Committee has considered the draft Tax Credits (Definition and Calculation of Income) Regulations 2002.—[Dawn Primarolo.]

7.28 pm

Mr. Bercow: I have been so encouraged by the comprehensiveness of the responses up till now that I am satisfied, for the time being.

Mr. Webb: Tempted though I am, I shall make only one point. It has been drawn to my attention—I must admit that I did not spot it—that there appears to be a word missing on page 6 of the order.

Column Number: 43

Dawn Primarolo: There is an error. The order says ''employment'', but it should say ''employment income''. I am informed that the error is due to slippage that can, and will, be corrected. It does not change the substance of the order at all. There are two further errors, because there are two paragraph 14s and two chapter 5s. That is due to the slippage rule, and the errors will be corrected.

Mr. Webb: The Minister saved me the trouble of pointing those errors out, and I am grateful to her.

Question put and agreed to.

Draft Tax Credits

(Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) Regulations 2002

Motion made, and Question proposed,

    That the Committee has considered the draft Tax Credits (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) Regulations 2002.—[Dawn Primarolo.]

7.30 pm

Mr. Bercow: I am in a state of exaltation. I have nothing further to say.

Question put and agreed to.

Committee rose at twenty-nine minutes to Eight o'clock.

The following Members attended the Committee:
Adams, Mrs. Irene (Chairman)
Bercow, Mr.
Boswell, Mr.
Buck, Ms
Burden, Richard
Davey, Mr. Edward
Drown, Julia
Etherington, Mr.
Jack, Mr.
Luff, Mr.
Meale, Mr.
Mountford, Kali
Perham, Linda
Primarolo, Dawn
Smith, Angela
Southworth, Helen
Webb, Mr.

The following also attended, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(2):
Field, Mr. Mark (Cities of London and Westminster)
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl (Chesham and Amersham)
Hoban, Mr. Mark (Fareham)
McLoughlin, Mr. Patrick (West Derbyshire)
Prisk, Mr. Mark (Hertford and Stortford)
Ramdall, Mr. John (Uxbridge)

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