As we predicted, lone parents will need to look for work when their children turn 3 – Belina budget blog

As Belina predicted in May, Parents with a youngest child aged three or older, including lone parents, who are able to work will be expected to look for work if they are claiming Universal Credit. These parents are set to receive extra support from Jobcentre Plus. This comes on the back of free 30 hours a week childcare for working families. It looks as if this will impact both lone and couple families and will have a big impact on when mother’s are deemed ready to go back to work.

Belina’s GRoW Programme will be a big asset for people who want to support these parents.

Working-age benefits, including tax credits and the Local Housing Allowances, will be frozen for 4 years from 2016-17 to 2019-20.

The Benefits Cap has been reduced from 26,000 a year. or £500 a week, to £20,000 a year  £384; In London it will be 23,500 or £452.

Child Tax Credits will be limited to 2 children for new claimants after 2017. Whilst the vast majority of Lone and couple families have one or two children, this will impact larger families.

From April 2016, the level at which a household’s tax credits are withdrawn for every extra pound earned will be reduced from £6,420 to £3,850. For Universal Credit, which is replacing six working age benefits including tax credits, the figures will be £4,764 for those without housing costs and £2,304 for those with  housing costs. State top-ups will also be reduced by larger amounts as people progress in work. As a result of the cuts, 500,000 households will move off tax credits and 300,000 off Universal Credit.

Policy Exchange say a typical renting household with one child, and one adult in work at the current minimum wage, is expected to see their net income rise by 6% in real terms over the Parliament, whereas the same household with no one in work is expected to see their income fall in real terms by 4%.

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