Child Tax Credits: should they be abolished for families earning over £50k?

May 10 • Uncategorized • 1139 Views • 41 Comments on Child Tax Credits: should they be abolished for families earning over £50k?

As we know, one of the pre-election promises made was a pledge to abolish Child Tax Credits for families earning over £50k.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, if there isn't enough money to go around (and we know there isn't) then yes, it makes sense that child tax credits shouldn't be given to those families who are better off. On the other, even if your household income is over £50k, that doesn't mean you're neccessarily well off. Surely it also depends on where you live, and the cost of living in your area? Child Tax Credits are means tested, but I'm not sure they take into account things like how much Council Tax you have to pay, for example. Perhaps someone could put me straight.

KidStart are currently running a poll on this so if you can spare a few seconds do click yes or no. But meanwhile, I'd love to know what you think. Is it right to abolish Child Tax Credits for families earning over £50k? Or should other things be taken into account?

written by Liz Jarvis


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41 Responses to Child Tax Credits: should they be abolished for families earning over £50k?

  1. Karin @ Cafe Bebe says:

    That’s a bit of a tricky one. What if you’re in that bunch who make, say, £50,001…you most certainly don’t deserve to have your Child Tax Credit taken away because more than likely, you still need that! And what if you have 4 children? There must be a better plan…more of a grading system and considerations for how many children you have and council tax,etc. I’d love to know where they come up with all of these figures as well…seems rather arbitrary to me.

  2. Liz says:

    The simple fact is that cuts have to be made, whoever ends up in power and they have have to start somewhere. So I think that this is one of the easier choices, lower paid families need the money more than people earning over 50k. We have never claimed ours as we thought it was immoral we were even eligible for it. It’s only £500 odd a year anyway, not like it’s thousands and thousands you’re losing out on. I’d far rather it went to a family who earn under £35k a year and genuinely are struggling.

  3. Amanda Cook says:

    I think the limit should be £50,000. That is still a substantial income and should not be supported by a system, introduced to assist those in the lower income brackets to get back to work and get out of the benefits system. I also think that Child Benefit should be scrapped for those with an income over £50,000. Chid Benefit was introduced to assist those in poverty. Many parents simply save it or even invest it in a pension scheme for their children.

  4. Emma says:

    I too think the limit should be £50,000 we are on way much less that and just survive. We survive on the tax credits each week to get by , and we do it. We are managing to pay off debts, bills , rents , food and we still a little disposable left. If giving it to those households with incomes over £50,000 means we go without then there should be a cut off amount where they cant get it. But then maybe certain situations should be taken into account about how much council tax you have to be and how much it does cost to live in your area.

  5. Young Mummy says:

    I personally don’t think that a family income of £50,000 in London makes you well off, especially if, like us, you are raising more than one child (twins in our case). I do think that it would be fairer if it took your location into account, as it makes an enormous difference to your cost of living.

  6. Insomniac Mummy says:

    Regarding the council tax, when you use the Tax Credits calculator at it asks you how much council tax you pay/ whether you’re a tennant or a home owner etc, so I’m sure it is considered in the equation. I’m dreading what will happen with Tax Credit. We’re not near the 50K threshold but would be financially screwed if they were even slightly lowered. 🙁

  7. Jennifer@alphamummy says:

    One of the things that drives me mad about the government is that this system of tax credits and child benefit and little payments here and there costs so much to administer. Why don’t they streamline all of these so poorer families get the benefit and those better off don’t. £50k is not a big income but unfortunately with these kind of benefits you have to draw a line somewhere.

  8. Emily O says:

    A very tricky one. And personally I get a bit narked about the things on offer for conventionally employed people but not for those who work in different ways. My husband has been self-employed for years and I’ve just started working in this way too. We don’t get any paid holiday, maternity or paternity leave, sick pay, compassionate leave, etc. Nowt. As for things like working tax credits and childcare vouchers – nothing for us at all. Zilch. Nada. So I don’t know about the £50k cut-off. For people commenting about the number of children you have, you do get child benefit for each one (that’s the one thing we get!). £50k income depends on what your outgoings are, if you’re mortgaged up to the hilt and have debts then it won’t seem like much.

  9. grit says:

    on balance, yes, it should be revised. we have never been able to use the tax credit system – or rather i did and then they asked for it all back, so no more of that, thanks very much. our income is never really fixed with freelancing / own business and it can be very difficult to determine what earnings there will be ahead. there can be lots or virtually nothing! so we can’t plug into a system that requires predictability. i also think the tax credit system rewards an ability to work the tax system. we certainly do a bad job of that (just ask the accountant!) but if we were sharp operators with better tax awareness and knowledge of how to transfer/ withhold/ credit monies to different accounts, then we would probably benefit. so is the tax credit system at the higher earning end helping children? or helping the financially minded preserve monies? basically, i would rather a system that genuinely helped kids, than rewarded people who managed their finances in a system that’s convenient for gvmt administration.

  10. MumVersusKids says:

    I am in a more fortunate situation now, but I grew up on welfare and in a series of shelters and subsidised housing, and relied on schemes like this for something as basic as eating. When people who are relatively well off (earn a decent wage, have a roof over their heads and their worries are about the extras and not the basics) complain about not having enough for their families, I find it so incredibly depressing! I’m sure if they re-evaluated their budgets, most could give up the few hundred pounds (or even a few thousand) and still be able to feed and shelter their families. It’s certainly very complicated, but they need to start somewhere and it feels like a pretty fair place to start. Ideally, they would take all of your other circumstances into account, but just imagiine the cost involved in having to do detailed means testing for each and every parent in the UK. Just not realistic. I’d happily give up child tax credits and child benefit and even the tax savings we get from using childcare vouchers if it means that more funding goes to the people who need it most. I’d happily give up child tax credits and child benefit and even the tax savings we get from using childcare vouchers if it means that more funding goes to the people who need it most. The situation is certainly very complicated, but they need to start somewhere and £50K feels like a pretty fair place to start. Ideally, they would take all of your other circumstances into account, but just imagiine the cost involved in having to do detailed means testing for each and every parent in the UK. Just not realistic.

  11. MumVersusKids says:

    Weird! My last comment got a bit muddled up. I haven’t lost my mind, I’m just having technical issues.

  12. Expat Mum says:

    I’ve obviously been living in the States too long but I just don’t understand why anyone automatically needs a child tax credit. (Just like I couldn’t understand why we got "Family Allowance" growing up.) If you can afford to have kids, go for it, if you can’t then wait until you can. I’m not talking about families who need benefits to survive, but handing out credits to families who otherwise aren’t receiving state help doesn’t make sense to me. And Jen is right, they should all be administered by the same department/office and save administration costs. If a family needs a tax credit, then they should get it in the same payment as the rest of their benefits.

  13. Crystal Jigsaw says:

    I don’t think ours will ever be a household that earns more than £50k so I should hope, from a selfish point of view, the promise is kept in so far as the next government not taking away CTC from other families too. As we know, promises are never kept in the government. I rely on mine. Paying over £2k council tax a year, I am hoping that on this occasion, I will continue to receive tax credit. As for families earning over £50k, absolutely it should depend on where you live. We all know that living in London and other expensive places warrants a bigger salary in order to live comfortably but I fear there will be more families worse off and that £50k a year salary will become more like £30k. Perhaps it should depend on how many children one has too, but again, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, the middle classes get nowhere fast and meanwhile the divide becomes larger. CJ xx

  14. Sarah F says:

    When I separated from my husband and became a single mother I applied for Tax Credits. I earn approx £30,000 pa. I got £45 a month – after a while I decided that I didn’t need it so sent them a nice letter and didn’t fill in the new forms. They demanded all the money I’d got the previous year back. At once. Not terribly helpful. And not terribly to the point: My point is that people earning £50,000 a year would no doubt get even less per month. I can’t help thinking that they are in the wage bracket that can afford to give it up. And the money saved on the admin side would also add to the pot going to lower income families. Lets face it, troubled times are upon us (I work in the NHS – forget promises about not cutting front line staff: we’ve had staff leaving and not being replaced for 18 months now and we’ve just heard on the grapevine that they’re planning to assess the structure of each departmen and see where clinicians can be downgraded or not replaced. We’re a hop and a skip away from Greece’s situation) and if there is money to be going to people in need, it should go to people on low salaries, not on comfortable ones.

  15. Vic @ says:

    In theory tax credits sound like a great idea. In practice not so much. I’d like to see them cover the total cost of childcare, although where the earnings threshold for that should be, I don’t know. What I do know is that on £50k a year we could live comfortably in London. However, when you factor in income tax, national insurance and childcare (for two) into the equation, that £50k becomes more of a £30k and suddenly doesn’t become so comfortable any more. There’s never going to be an easy answer to this one but I don’t think abolishing the system is the way to go.

  16. London City Mum says:

    Tax credits make little difference to those families fortunate enough to live on annual incomes above £50k. Sure, the ‘every little helps’ in theory should make us grateful but in reality I would much rather have tax relief on the exorbitant childcare fees that we have to pay in London in order to continue working – and paying NI and taxes – in the first place. Whether opting for a nanny and paying tax twice (on your income and then again forking out for tax and NI on the nanny’s) or opting for nursery (childcare vouchers which are fine and well but cut into your take-home income), I am forever appalled that there is no incentive to ease the burden on parents of young children. And I mean proper measures, not half-hearted drop-in-the-ocean ones. Let’s not even talk about ‘free’ carers such as grandparents and other relatives who receive nothing at all unless they register as a professional childminder and have to deal with all the protocol and bureacracy that goes with it. So my point is that abolishing child tax credits will hit the lower income bracket families more, whereas having a fairer and better thought-out tax credit for off-setting childcare costs would benefit everyone. LCM x

  17. Chris HM says:

    Two things! (or maybe more!) A household income of 50K is not a great deal of money, if you are paying a hefty mortgage. If you also have one child attending full time nursery this will be is like paying a second mortgage. If you have two children attending full time nursery then a household income of 50K will not be anything like enough! Secondly, for those who earn over 58K, Child Tax Credits are really only payable until your child is one, so this is not an ongoing benefit of great significance. I am fortunate as both my children are now at school so my childcare costs are much reduced. However, I do remember struggling to pay Nursery fees (that cost more than my substantial mortgage did). The Tories gave no help whatsoever with childcare costs. It was a labour government that recognised assistance was needed, in the shape of Child Tax Credits and vouchers. By making childcare (slightly!) more affordable this has enabled many women to return to work following having families. This has the effect of maintaining skils in the workplace and contributing to economic stability. People may complain about our Labour Goverment, but they did more to support our family than the Conservatives ever have. I appreciate that cuts need to be made, but hope this is not at the expense of hard working parents trying to do the right thing by their employers and families. Whether 50K is a sufficeint amount rrally does depend upon your individual circumstances. London City Mum – I could not agree more re tax relief on childcare, why should you have to pay income tax twice. CHM

  18. A Modern Mother says:

    No! Did you see my post abou the election and my daughter saying she didn’t like the man in the blue tie because he was going tot ake them away from her???

  19. RDC says:

    Why should those earning over £50k not be entitled to the benefit, do they not deserve it, or earn the right to it? Yes £50k is a decent salary, but that also depends on where in the UK you live, your living expenses and lets be honest, the extortionate amount of money nurseries charge – I was quoted £1400 for full time nursery. I have to work full time, I am the primary carer and provider for my child, I am the bread winner and earn the money, but don’t earn anywhere near the threshold. My partner and I split up after my son was born, and even if we were together I would still have had to work full time to make up for the money that he doesn’t bring in. My hard earned money and the ridiculous amount of tax that I pay is then given to a lot, not all, of parents who don’t work, and more annoyingly, those that don’t chose to work. I think that it should be based on where you live and individual circumstances, not a blanket policy – it doesn’t work for all, and people like me who still earn a decent salary, DO still need the extra help and are extremely grateful for it. And let me tell you, even on a decent salary, I am nowhere near the threshold, but the amount of credit I get is minimal, so much so that it hardly covers the cost of 1 bag of nappies! But yet I am getting taxed to the hilt for people who don’t lift a finger! I understand some people ‘need’ the money, but how about helping people help themselves, I know a lot of people are not lucky enough to stay at home with their kids while the partner works, but give them an incentive, not just handouts!

  20. aguilk says:

    I have to say i am shocked by some of these comments. "if you cant afford kids dont have them" I have two children, when pregnant with my second i was made redundant… boom, cant afford children anymore but also cant do anything about it!!!! I lived in london when my first child was born, only 23k to live off because i went part time to avoid childcare costs, (we were renting too so our rent was probably more than any mortage) when my first was born tax credits were not around yet we survived on this so all this bull about 50k not being enough to live on in london is just from greedy people, there are ways and means, just be sensible with your money!!! Now we moved out of london, have just had our second child and because i was made redundant am recieveing maternity allowance (which SELF EMPLOYED people can get too!) and although our tax credits are almost half what i was earning (i worked part time) without my maternity allowance which stops next month i will have to live off my husbands wage of 18k, tax credits and child benefit…. wont be easy but i’m not about to start whinging about it like others who earn double or more… and yes i probably do have as much debt and financial commitment as you do (which PPI will stop paying for soon too) I think this country expects something for nothing and its shocking the amount that some people earn and say they dont have enough to live off, i think people need to manage their money better, parents are entitled to flexible working too so if childcare is too much then put in a flexible working hours request with your employer so reduce how much childcare you pay, sometimes taking a cut in hours and pay leaves you better off because you dont have so much childcare to pay. Its all about being money smart and not "i need it because i spend too much" I have spent 6 months (since baby was born) looking for a job but hey ho there aren’t any out there, i haven’t heard back from one company in this time because i have been ‘unemployed’ for too long now, will be a year next month… only a year and they wont consider me!!!!! I feel the people of this country expect benefits / tax credits for nothing, instead of being money smart, partents have alot of employment rights and people dont use them, apply for flexible working hours to reduce childcare costs or take a cut in hours and pay because sometimes this leave more money at the end of the moneth because your not paying the hefty childcare bills! Be smart with your money, dont assume you need it because you spend too much!!!!

  21. chris says:

    "Why should those earning over £50k not be entitled to the benefit" Because 90% of the population earn 50K or less, and the remaining 10% simply can’t afford to fund this level of benefit through their taxes, even if we take 100% of what they earn away. We are all ready to shout about what we’re "entitled to". Actually we’re entitled to earn a living and support those that are not able to. We’re not entitled to aspire to a standard of living that the country can’t afford – that’s one of the reasons we have such a vast deficit.

  22. Supermom says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to simply take away the tax credit from families making more than £50,000 a year. I feel that as with any sort of benefit, it should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Some families earning less than that don’t necessarily need it as much those with that much. I think that civil servants are being a bit lazy on this one. Rather than applying a blanket approach to this policy, they need to apply themselves a bit more to making sure it is fairer for all and not abused by those who don’t need it, especially now when money is tight.

  23. Bev says:

    The government needs to take a wider view on this issue – should be means tested and the area you live in taken into account regarding council tax etc. Debts shouldn’t be taken into account. But surely the tax credits are a way of helping those parents who work (bloody hard in poorer paid jobs) as opposed to those people who simply don’t want to work. Why should the government – and all us working people paying tax – pay for those who just don’t want to work because they find too many excuses for doing so. I’m all for benefits for those who simply cannot find work and really try to get a job, and those who for whatever reason are unable to work, but, and it really gets my goat, why should the masses who don’t want to work, happy to live on benefits receive them because they are simply lazy. I know childcare costs can be so high that a part time job is simply not worth it but so many youngsters simply don’t want to work, have babies and live off the state "cos its easier" or they just know how to play the system. Yes I know this doesn’t apply to everyone but we need a system that gives benefit to those who do try to earn their own money or simply can’t do. A point system may be the answer, but benefits is an area that I think the new government need a good look at. There are those that definately need it and it should be their right – but there are also those that simply play the system.

  24. L says:

    I am terrified we will lose our tax credits. I had a baby 12 weeks ago so Im currently not working, but usually I am a care assistant on very low wages-I used to work 70 hours a week when pregnant. And still relied on tax credit top ups to survive-and by that I mean I could not keep a roof over my families heads or put food on the table. My husband is also in a low paid job, full time. If tax credits go my address will literally be a tent somewhere, I am absolutely petrified-I love my job and will be returning to it-but how will I support my family without tax credits? I have 3 children, and just because I work bl££dy hard for practically nothing doesn’t exempt me from my right to have children. Very worried!

  25. lone-parent says:

    I can only dream of earning £50K. I’m a single mum of 2 very young kids living in Central London. My first job offer (after being made redundant, and my partner leaving me whilst pregnant) only paid me £12K pa. I survived paid rent, council tax, bills, food, childcare, debts it was like fitting an elephant in a small leotard but I made do. You learn to make do, without all the extra luxuries and make the best of the income you do have. You learn to be smarter with your money. I accepted the job as it was the only one i got and the hours was great. I worked 10-4, mon-fri. Now, a couple years on I still only earn £15K. I can tell you my little family, couldn’t survive without working tax credit which is a little over £70 a month and child tax credits which only covers 80% of childcare costs. My only concern would be that now the conservatives are in would they scrap tax credits? I don’t know what i would do if they did.

  26. RDC says:

    To aguilk and chris: Please don’t assume to tell people to be smarter with their money, you don’t know peoples circumstances and you’ve just assumed that those earning up to 50K are greedy! And no, I don’t earn £50K or anywhere near that, but it’s a decent salary. How about the fact that in order to survive in my job, in order to give me and my son a roof over my head, I CAN’T AFFORD to do flexible working hours. In order to give my son a decent upbringing I can’t cut corners at work. It is a vicious circle because if I don’t work full time then I won’t get further in my career, which means that my son and I won’t go anywhere either. And I don’t want that at all. I am working for my sons future, and i will strive to give him all that I can and at the same time show him that working is good, and builds self esteem and gives a sense of accomplishment rather than doing nothing and just expecting everybody to hand things out. Saying that it cuts costs etc etc might be true, but there again you’re just paving he way for MORE handouts for nothing! I KNOW people who do precisely this, they work 3 days a week and because of the handouts they get they have more cash in hand at the end of the month that I do – and THEY are the one’s spending the money unnecessarily on materialistic goods for themselves and not their children. I DON’T have much debt at all and am money savvy but I DO have overheads that are necessary. I DIDN’T chose the nursery, I chose a child minder so the costs are far better, but still high. I have my home to pay for, my car to pay for, utilities, food, clothing etc etc etc and I DON’T spend unnecessarily. I don’t remember the last time I bought any new clothes for myself, and I’m not complaining, because I enjoy being able to buy for him instead. I am saving for him and for me so that he will have a decent pot of money when he’s old enough to NOT have to claim any benefits, hopefully so he can buy his own home when he’s young and not have a mortgage hanging around his neck when he’s middle aged. Even your assumption that cutting working hours and thereby child care costs is a means to an end is one that is only beneficial to some. You are lucky you have another income from your husband, however big or small it is, to fall back on. I was paid 3 months maternity only but while I was pregnant SAVED up so that I could take an additional 5 months maternity to be with my child. I have never claimed benefits in my life before, ever. But what riles me is that there are many people out there, and no I am not generalising or pointing fingers at all, who DON’T work, who WON’T work and CHOSE not to work. So that is why I stand by my belief and question that why shouldn’t those earning >£50k be entitled to something back, seeing as we’re funding the likes of those who chose not to work. The fact that so many people are used to getting hand outs is a failure on our political climate. If you read the articles and reports written on it you will find that what was put in place in the 30’s to bring people together has had exactly the opposite affect. The state became a welfare state after the war in order to compensate for the lack of jobs, while the country tried to get back on it’s feet. And it’s been in free fall ever since. Instead of capping it, stopping it when things had righted themselves, they had just created a monster which unfortunately for the people who REALLY needed it, causes the divide between people like me who want to work and who do budget wisely and those that openly admit to not working and having more children in order to benefit from the welfare state. How is that fair on our economy?? And why shouldn’t people aspire to a standard of living that is better than what they have? It doesn’t mean they have to be in debt. Unfortunately that is the way the country has gone, but that’s a whole other story on economics thanks to the past government, and the excess of easy money and the way the banking systems was allowded to be run was an accident waiting to happen. People like me could see it, but the one’s who couldn’t are now saddled with huge debt and probably self esteem issues and worries. All because they were allowed to live above their means but without any sacrifices or working for it on their side! If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it! But if you want it, work for it, save for it and then buy it. Have a bit of drive to do a better job and not go "I can’t find work"…. I too have been made redundant 3 times, but I had jobs within a week!!!! I got in my car drove around looking for work, posting and emailing my CV to all companies I thought I could work for. I did my research on the companies to target and basically got off my behind and found a job myself. I did temp work which was only supposed to last 1 week but turned into 3 months and then they wanted to hire me permanently. It’s all about drive and doing it yourself and not resting on your laurels expecting everybody to find you a job and give you money. And at the end of the day if the Conservatives took away the benefit, and only gave it to those who desperately need it, I firmly believe that it will be for everybody’s benefit. And yes, I too do believe that we as humans have a brain and can chose whether to have children or not, it is not a fundamental reproductive right, that’s why we got given brains too to chose. That is why I’d rather give my hand outs to charities like the RSPCA and Great Ormond Street – children and animals don’t have a choice of being in the situations they are in, us adults do, and I firmly believe that if you can’t afford children then you should relook at your situation. Make ends meet, somehow, my folks did and they had nothing but worked hard for everything they now have. Or put off having them until you’re comfortable enough to know that you have the ways and mean of supporting them whatever the circumstance.

  27. Laura C says:

    To be honest I think the system for CTC is rubbish. We don’t earn close to 50k a year but the money we get for CTC is rubbish. Not even £70 p/m and we don’t get WTC cause we earn too much. And yet I hear about families with children coming out their ears who don’t work are on JSA and are earning almost double my monthly income in a week. It’s totally unfair. I think CTC should work like CHB does. You get a certain amount for your children based on your income. If you earn less then you should get more and if you earn more you should get less. Essentially everyone with children would get the same amount at the end of it all.

  28. Maria says:

    To be honest, I was shocked at the amount of money that gets thrown at you when you have a baby. I’ve taken it all: Health in Pregnancy Grant, Child Benefit, Tax Credits and 9 months SMP. I figure I’ve spent 12 years paying tax and NI on my income so I might as well get something back. At the end of the day its a couple’s choice to have a family, and to live where they live, so they should make choices that they can afford. Why does everyone expect the state to support them? Other countries don’t have things like this, America doesn’t even have maternity leave for goodness sake! Obviously I appreciate everything I’m given and try to make best use of it, but if we loose tax credits for earning more than 50k (just!) then so be, it was good whilst it lasted. We choose to have a baby, and we took financial implications into consideration before we made that choice. Just like we saved up before we started trying so we had enough money to pay the mortgage etc whilst I was off work. I also think that any benefits should only be paid for the first 2 children in any family. Anyone that chooses to have more than that should be doing it because they can afford to – not because it will qualify them for a better/bigger council house (and yes, I do know people that have done this). Will be interesting to see what does happen in the future.

  29. laura says:

    As myself and my husband earn almost 50k between us, our tax credit will probably stop, which doesn’t really concern me as i was getting £26 per month. However, I have been through 5 years of university, racking up student debts and am still paying them 5 years later as is my husband. Many of my colleagues are on lower incomes, for example one is earning 750 a month for working 2.5 days. However her tax credits, CTC and housing benefits pay her another 800 per month. This means that money in hand at the end of each month she is better off than me, has no student loans to repay, and works half the number of hours I work. So sometimes I wonder why I even bother to work full time, I could claim so much more money If I just cut my hours, and i’d be better off!! What a system!

  30. Jay says:

    Absolutely agree with Jennifer. Do really feel the help should be given to low income and single parents. My daughter and her partner are on a low income and this money really counts. Sorry I know this is controversial, but feel that this new government should focus on the parents who think that children are some sort of cash cow. Is the answer maybe to start with child benefit? i.e. if you have more than two children there is no extra child benefit. In my local area there seems to be a proliferation of single teenage mothers [another area to tackle, urgently] The majority are just to young to emotionally and physically care for a baby or young child, so we have all these parenting centres springing up [government funded] and yes that is a good thing because at least the children have some sort of hope of a half decent upbringing. We have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in europe. Unfortunately most of these girls are led by example i.e. get pregnant, get a council flat and benefits. Somehow, someway we have to find an answer to this, Tony Blair even said himself that if money was taken from the mothers ultimately he would be taking it from the children, which he would not do, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. Lets hope this new government can go someway to tackling the huge problems in the benefits system whilst still helping the people who really need help

  31. riz says:

    I completely agree with you Laura. I am a single mum of one teen. I ‘just’ managed to pass the affordability to be able to get shared ownership of 50% in my home. Rent is crippling in my area. I have a doctorate and I am a scientist. I cannot afford to live (I live in surrey). Even the cccs have showed that I am £50 a month in deficit each month for essential outgoings. I have worked out that is I went part-time earning £15000 that I would be better off (tax credits/ free school meals, help with uniform, housing benefit, ctax benefit, free prescriptions, not paying back student loan etc)? But as a matter of principle I wish to further my career, but sometimes i wonder… I’m scared that I will loose the £42 a month in tax credits I get. I am earning £25K. I have juggled living on credit hoping that things will improve. I am depressed and going down all I want is to be able to survive.

  32. Wapmum says:

    I agree with RDC. I am a single parent, living in London and working full time on a decent wage – yet it is still a tremendous struggle. The government should be rewarding the workers and penalising those who live a life of leisure at the expense of us taxpayers.

  33. Becky says:

    I absolutely dont agree that if you bring in £50,000 a yr that you should get tax credits. Get rid of your credit cards & live within your means. If you cant afford your lifestyle, tax payers shouldn’t have to chip in. Obviously living in London makes things more complicated, but stop trying to keep up with the Jones’s, be creative, relax & that £42 a month you fear losing won’t seem so important.

  34. Tombstone says:

    £50K? Sounds OK. I earn £70K+, and we could really use the money (yummy wife likes organic produce), but labour screwed up the economy so much that there have to be cuts. In the meantime I eat Sainsbury’s basics range whilst the boys get the good stuff. It doesn’t taste that much worse.

  35. kaz says:

    £50k i wish !! Were a working class family with 3children and earn about £40k but we also support anyother family and have household bills just like everyone eles the thought of not getting child tax credit or child benefit scares me!! I think working class familys and single parents who do work should not be punished. The goverment should invest in people like us and get rid of the free loaders. I just hope the goverment makes the right decsion or there are going to be a lot of homeless hungry familys!!! and stop giving our money to the immagrants if they do not pay into our system then they dont get anythin out !!!!

  36. catlover says:

    Well… if tax credits go, I am totally screwed. As a single mum (my ex cheated then left when my baby was 8 months old), I have gone part time with my job in the NHS (not renowned as the greatest wage payers) and now my part time salary is £11k a year£800 a month), on top of that I get £666 a month (£550 of which goes to the childminder), and by the time I have paid all my monthly bills (and I have NO luxuries) I have around £200 for food and clothing. That does not take into account birthdays, or xmas which I have to save for around £15 a month when I can afford to, and I struggle BIG time. And before you jump on the ‘make the dad pay’ train…. he emigrated to New Zealand and the CSA do not trace that far. So upshot is…. I am totally screwed if the tax credits go…..and I couldnt afford to work full time, because if I do, my childminding fees go up, my tax credits go down..,it is a catch 22 situation for most of us earning a low income. I sometimes wonder why I work, when I could just stay at home and get all the benefits, but I have worked for the past 28 years and have no intention of being a lazy benefit taker, I firmly believe in showing my daughter that you should contribute to society, earn your own income, and keep a sense of self esteem.

  37. jules says:

    Between my boyfriend and myself we earn about £57000 before tax, unfortunately we only take home £3000, which you are right is alot, however to keep both of us in a job both our kids have to go in to childcare full time which is in excess of £1100 per month, then when you take a mortgage of £600 council tax of £150. now we also live in the middle of nowhere with no publc transport so we both need cars which are an ongoing cost and unfortunately my boyfriend still has a house that he has been trying to sell for ages, but had no luck. that is another £600 a month in mortgage and council tax. therefore my opinion is is should be based on your earnings after tax and certain bills. After all as far as we can see you actually get penalised for being working parents with a good job, i know people that have a bigger disposable income than we do because of all the benefits they are entitled to being on a low wage. how is that right.

  38. Ems says:

    Child tax credit should be abolished. If you can’t afford offspring, don’t have them. And since when are children the centre of the universe? Why don’t married couples get a tax credit for being married? Most couples don’t even make a committment to each other but decide to pop out an entire mini-me collection. This whole ”benefit” system is totally backwards and disgusting.

  39. Ems says:

    P.S. TO CATLOVER Good for you. At least you try and at least you work! I wish more people were too proud to accept help because they realise the importance of building character by doing it on their own.

  40. SickOfthis says:

    I earn £50k and have 5 children. My wife stays at home to make sure they get all the care they needed whilst I have to work long hours to sustain us all. This was our choice and I am not complaining, however child benefit comes in really really handy and the loss of some £240 a month is really going to hurt us all. I pay so much money into the tax system it hardly seems right to hit us in this way. This move forces parents to both be breadwinners whilst the children go to childminders. Family friendly policies? You lie!

  41. chris says:

    I don’t understand how we’ve got ourselves into a situation where people earning an average wage need handouts from the government in order to survive. Yet time and time again, I hear people saying "we’re on 25K a year but couldn’t manage witthout the tax credits". Such a situation can’t be right. You earn money from your employer not the government – and handing out money in such a way creates a dependency – almost akin to being a bribe for people’s votes – "Don’t vote for them – they’ll cut your tax credits"… But why on earth should we all be entitled to them in the first place? One problem is that in our "everybody must work" society, people with high earning potential tend to marry each other – so you will get two people on 35K each paying standard rate tax and doing very nicely on their combined wage, whereas the single worker on 25K whose partner doesn’t work will have real trouble surviving despite being on the "average" wage. Perhaps a solution would be to base tax bands on *family* income rather than individual income. You could then have the first (say) 30K of *family* incoming completely tax free, and the higher rate tax band could kick in at (say) 60K. This would be a much fairer way of raising taxes, would not lose the country money and could well avoid the need for tax credits for everyone except the very low paid.


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