Christmas is around the corner. And beyond those jolly jingle bells and ho-ho-hoing from St Nick, another noise can be heard – deep sighs and groans from parents and non-parents alike as they weigh up the cost of the festivities.
But between this and the hectic nature of Christmas, you could be easily forgiven for having pushed tax and money matters to the back of your mind. But once 2016 rolls over and 2017 presents itself, there are major changes coming to benefits and taxes when the April tax year comes around. So let us explain before life becomes a chaotic mix of wrapping paper and tinsel.
April 2017 will see more than a few switches to bereavement support, employment support and even the TV license. Here we discuss some of the biggest talking points.
First, Child Tax Credit, in his summer budget, the Chancellor announced the implementation of a ‘two child rule’ for families from April. It means that support from Child Tax Credit will be limited to two children hence the name with any children born after April 2017, after the first two, not eligible for further support.
The £545 a year family element will also cease after 2017, although families with children born before April 2017 will continue to get it but families with those born after, will not. On the flip side of the coin for families with children, the current 15 hours of free childcare for working parents is set to double to 30 hours per week.
Universal Credit will see similar changes to Child Tax Credit come April, in that it will be limited to two children per family. Parents will also be encouraged back into work with a three year, three step plan involving interviews, preparation and job-seeking to get them into employment by the time their youngest turns three.
We mentioned the TV licence is also set to change; all over 75s will be given it for free with the funding for this being passed from Government to the BBC.