§ Mr. Efford
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if employment credit is assessed as income for the purpose of calculating Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for a person setting up their own business under the New Deal 50 plus programme; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what circumstances employment credit is not treated as income for the purpose of calculating Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for people on the New Deal 50 plus. 
§ Angela Eagle
The New Deal 50 plus provides advice and assistance to help older people become self-supporting either through securing a job or becoming self-employed. In its first year of national operation, New Deal 50 plus helped over 33,000 people move from benefits into work, nearly 4,000 of whom became self-employed.
The New Deal 50 plus Employment Credit is an in-work income supplement designed to help people make the transition from benefits into work. So far as self-employed people are concerned, this credit cannot be offset against losses or liabilities.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit are income related benefits and as such, all forms of income, including earnings and the New Deal 50 plus Employment Credit are considered when calculating entitlement. When the Employment Credit ceases, entitlement to these benefits may be reviewed.
People generally will be better off by moving into work or becoming self-employed and receiving the Employment Credit. In some cases, the Employment Credit will increase an individual's income to a level which means they no longer need Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit.786W
The Employment Credit is treated as income in calculating entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit under all circumstances.