Working mums fear tax credit cuts

Almost half of working mums fear they may have to reduce their hours or give up work if they lose their entitlement to working families and child tax credits, a survey by Workingmums.co.uk has found.

Almost half of working mums fear they may have to reduce their hours or give up work if they lose their entitlement to working families and child tax credits, a survey by Workingmums.co.uk has found.
The survey comes just ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review which it is feared will announce cuts in entitlement to tax credits.
In the survey of 500 working mums, 25% of respondents said they would definitely have to reduce hours or give up work if they lost entitlement to tax credits and a further 21% said they may have to do so. Some 77% of respondents used tax credits.
The survey, which was run before the child benefit cuts were announced, showed 66% of mums said it would affect their finances a lot if child benefit was cut or reduced.
Half of those surveyed were not working. Eighty one per cent said they were stopped from working because of a lack of available flexible work. This was almost twice as many who said childcare costs was a barrier. Twenty eight per cent said a major barrier to working was the lack of work which paid more than they received on benefits.
Although many used tax credits, there was less awareness of the advantages of using childcare vouchers. Although 32% said their workplaces provided vouchers [and almost 10% did not know whether they were available], 75% of those who could have claimed them didn’t do so, possibly because they were claiming tax credits.
Almost three quarters of working mums did not pay into a pension. Some 17% had reduced their payments due to the recession and 18% had done so after having children. Eighty-two per cent were worried about their retirement.
They were also concerned about their children’s future. Some 41% were unable to save for their children’s future and, although 48% had Child Trust Funds only 20% had paid into them.
The profile of those surveyed was as follows:
– Most had children under 7
– 54% were married and almost 30% were single parents
– 50% were working. Of those not working 55% did not claim benefits; of the 21% claiming income support the majority had been claiming it for under six months
– 83% spent tax credit money on general household expenses, rather than specifically on childcare.
 





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