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Some 44% of working mums will lose tax credits as a result of the change in the number of hours needed to qualify for them, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.
Some 13% say they will be forced out of the workplace as a result.
The poll of around 200 women comes just days after the Government introduced changes in the working tax credit rules around hours worked which mean couples with children will have to work at least 24 hours to qualify, rather than 16 hours.
It shows 12% of women have increased their hours to retain credits. Some 44% say they are unaffected by the tax credit changes.
One working mum explained the difficulties she faced: “If I increase my working hours I will get the working tax credit, but I will need to pay the the rent which is more than the tax credit so I will not increase my hours working.”
Another said: “The system is a joke. Before I got married I was entitled to tax credits. As soon as I got married I was no longer eligible, despite the fact that my husband cannot work and I’m the only breadwinner in the house. I feel like I was being punished for getting married and the added financial strain is huge. More and more people are being trapped because the slightest increase or decrease of hours or salary can have devastating financial consequences.”
And another commented: “It puts people off taking part time jobs under 30 hours per week. Most jobs advertised now are part time or job share, but people on Jobseekers Allowance can no longer afford to take them, even though they would benefit from the experience, because the salary’s not enough to pay the rent and bills etc. So you’re better off on the dole. This is NOT helping people get back in to work.”