§ Mr. MacShane
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost of including within the working families tax credit an additional £32 per week if the claimant is 18 or over and is married; and what would be the cost if this additional credit was also extended to claimants who are not married but living with someone as though they are married to that person. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
Within the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC), both those couples who are married and those living together as if they are married are treated alike. It is therefore not possible to provide separate estimates for the two groups.
Based on the full year cost of the WFTC, the cost of including an additional £32 per week within the credits for all couples already in receipt of WFTC would be about £1.3 billion. In addition, there will be couples who previously did not qualify on income grounds who will become eligible because of the additional credit. It is not possible to estimate the additional costs arising from this and other behavioural effects, except at disproportionate cost.