HC Deb 26 June 1995 vol 262 cc460-1W
Mr. Callaghan

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what additional support the Department will be providing next year to low-income families with children. [30973]

Mr. Burt

Over the next 12 months, a number of measures are to be introduced that will provide extra support for low-income families with children.

From July this year, low-income families with children working more than 30 hours per week will receive an extra £10 per week in family credit. Around 345,000 families are expected to benefit from this measure worth over £200 million. We also aim to speed up the payment of family credit. From April 1996, we expect almost all new claims for family credit to be arranged within five working days.

Also from next April, those who take a job after six month's unemployment will be able to keep their housing benefit at their existing full rate for an extra four weeks. From October 1996 the tax-free back-to-work bonus of up to £1,000 will help to smooth a family's income flow on taking up work.

Families will also benefit from the introduction of a national insurance holiday for employers taking on those who have been unemployed for two years or more, in April 1996.