Softening the impact of tax credit cuts

There is a “growing expectation” that the chancellor will announce measures to soften the impact of the April 2016 tax credits cuts in his autumn statement next month, according to a Guardian report which has been cited in The Times.

I hope we will see a softening of the blow. Many tax credits claimants will not benefit from the increase in the income tax personal allowance, the national living wage, or the planned increase in provision of free childcare, which ministers insist should be considered as part of a package of welfare reform.

Unfortunately, the autumn statement will not happen until 25 November and it will be a huge task for HMRC to tell claimants precisely how their provisional awards of tax credits for 2016/17 will be affected.

As the House of Lords prepares to debate on Monday three motions to “decline to approve” or “decline to consider” the April 2016 cuts, there’s a useful account of last week’s developments in today’s The Week in Westminster on BBC Radio 4.

The two-child limit set to apply from April 2017 is in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, which MPs will debate again on Tuesday.