HC Deb 24 January 2002 vol 378 c1008
13. Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)

What his estimate is of the impact of working families tax credit in reducing child poverty in (a) Mitcham and Morden and (b) the UK. [27563]

The Paymaster General (Dawn Primarolo)

The introduction of the working families tax credit, along with other changes to the personal tax and benefit system since 1997, means that there are 1.2 million fewer children in relative poverty in the United Kingdom than there would otherwise have been. In Mitcham and Morden, 1,600 families are currently benefiting from the working families tax credit.

Siobhain McDonagh

I thank the Minister for her answer. Will she look at the categories of child care that are eligible for the child care tax credit? As she knows, a number of us are concerned that although registered child minder costs are covered, those of resident Nursery Nurses Education Board nannies are not, even though the training for that child care qualification is significant. That restricts the ability to work of people who work shifts, particularly NHS nurses.

Dawn Primarolo

I can tell my right hon. Friend—my hon. Friend; I nearly promoted her—that the question of care for children in their homes, whether they are disabled or their parents work unsociable hours, is of great importance. I am currently discussing with Ministers in the Department for Education and Skills how to ensure that regulation is in place so that the child care element of the working families tax credit could be paid. My hon. Friend will understand that it is not for the Treasury to regulate the standard and quality of care; that is the responsibility of the Department for Education and Skills. I hope that we can resolve that problem soon.