GMB study on Families receiving Child or Working Tax Credit

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“Disguised cuts to the Working Families tax credits element of Universal Credit is leaving new recipients worse off than they should be”, says GMB Southern

A new study by GMB shows that there are 482,900 in-work families within Southern Region in receipt of Child or Working Tax Credits which average £6,489 per year.

The highest average annualised value per household per year is in Slough with £7,499. The lowest is for Arun at £6,065.

The other areas in the top ten for the highest annual average amount in Child or Working Tax Credits per household are: Milton Keynes £7,321, Wycombe £7,183, Oxford £7,155, Woking £7,082, Reading £7,018, Crawley £6,970, Dartford £6,881, Aylesbury Vale £6,857, and Portsmouth £6,834.

In the UK there are 2,713,400 in-work families receiving an average of £6,753 per year in Child or Working Tax Credits.  New claims for housing benefits in all areas will be dealt with via Universal Credit by the end of December.  Universal Credit combines benefits for working-age people, replacing income support, jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit, and Working Tax Credit.  Transferring current claimants will be trailed from next year until 2020 and will not be completed until 2023.

The figures for all 77 areas in the region are set out in the table available for download on the right.

Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary said: "It used to be a maxim for those favouring free open competitive markets to pursue policies to enable work to pay. Sadly, this is no longer the case in the UK.

"We now see workers in huge, highly profitable oligopolies as well as the lower paid across the economy having to rely on the Working Tax Credits to make ends meet. In our region 482,900 households were in receipt of an average of £6,489 per year.

"This is a very expensive, but in the absence of decent pay, a necessary form of corporate welfare. However, it should not be accepted as inevitable.

"Many of the companies employing staff getting Working Tax Credits are fiercely hostile to these staff exercising their human rights to join trades unions to force collective bargaining rights to secure better pay and conditions like a living wage. Managers are able to undermine these rights with effective impunity. The Cineworld pay dispute for a living wage was ended when managers sacked four of the low paid leaders for leading the dispute.

"In the medium term it would save public money if managers who interfere with the human rights to join trades unions to force collective bargaining for decent pay are severely punished with fines and prison to remove hostility to workers combining. If workers could unionise without being victimised, trade unions would force wages up and save money on Working Families Tax Credits.

"There are no prospects of the current government assisting workers to get higher pay. Instead all new claims for Working Tax Credits are dealt with by Universal Credit. Over the next few years those who get tax credits will transfer to Universal Credit. So it is essential that the design and implementation of this is done right.

"There is a lot of evidence that it is not right. Universal Credit is used to control and discriminate against non-UK citizens, to discourage single mothers with children under school age from working and to discourage the illiterate, innumerate and those with no access to IT/internet, and it props up the zero hours’ culture and the gig economy.

"People who would previously have been able to claim immediately (if made redundant) through contributions, now have to support themselves for 6 weeks.

"There is the additional problem that disguised cuts to the Working Tax Credits element of Universal Credit is leaving new recipients worse off than they should be.

"In short, it appears to be one almighty mess that serves only to attack claimants and discourage people from part-time or low-paid work. It is urgent that these issues are dealt with properly. Parliament has the job of ensuring that this happens."


Contact: Michelle Gordon 07866 369 259 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114 762


Notes to Editors

Previous GMB Press Releases

1] GMB study into private rental costs (1 Nov 2018)

2] GMB study into rented households housing benefit claims (8 Nov 2018)


Sources and Definitions

1] Sources: HM Revenue & Customs, Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics:

Geographical analysis April 2018; Recipient families receiving Child or Working Tax Credit in each local authority, April 2018.

Finalised annual awards 2016-17 Geographical Analysis; Table 2 Average number of benefiting families and average annual entitlements in each local authority, 2016-17.

2] National and regional figures for working families in receipt of tax credits and average annual entitlement