Tax reforms: Working couples could lose £4,000

Working couples on low and middle incomes could lose out on £73 a week

Government figures show working parents on middle incomes could lose out under changes to tax rules.

To qualify for working tax credit under new Coalition rules, working parents will be required to work a 24 hour week – an extra eight hours more than the current 16 hour requirement.

The changes could mean 212,000 working couples earning less than £17,000 a year will lose around £3,870 in tax credit if they can not fit in the extra working hours.

‘Up and down the country there are tens of thousands of families faced with either asking their employer to give them more hours or losing £73 a week,’ says Shadow Chancellor and Labour MP Ed Balls.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) calculated households with children will be the worst hit when cuts to child benefits, working tax credit and other reforms come into play.

A typical family stands to lose around £500 a year, while pensioners will be £315 a year worse off from April 2014.

The Treasury rejects the IFS analysis, claiming most families and pensioners will do better as a result of tax changes.

‘From this Friday 24 million households will be £6.50 a week better off as a result of action taken by this Government,’ says a spokesman.

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