HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 cc360-1W
Mr. Trend

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service families receive working families tax credit. [102240]

Mr. Spellar

From October 1999 (in the UK), working families tax credit (WFTC) is being paid direct to the claimant (including UK service personnel or their spouses). Although WFTC is administered by Inland Revenue (IR), it was enacted by DSS legislation. Consequently, since claims are made direct to the IR by either service personnel (or their spouses), the MOD has no overview of the total number of claimants. However, from April 2000, WFTC (in the UK) will be payable to claimants, including service personnel, through their salary if they wish. As the credit may be paid to the spouses of service personnel, however, our information about which service personnel in the UK receive the credit will not be comprehensive. Overseas, MOD is required to make separate arrangements for payment of most DSS benefits, including WFTC, to service (and civilian) personnel as they are at present disqualified by the DSS by virtue of their residence outside the UK. The total number of service claimants overseas will not be known until after April next year when the transfer from FC to WFTC is complete. I regret, therefore, that MOD is unable to provide the information requested.