Universal Tax Credits. Will it affect those in MQs with savings (for their future home)?

(7 Posts)
ArmyFamiliesFederation Mon 25-Mar-13 09:43:55

Queries can be directed to AFF Employment, Training, Allowances & Money Specialist - Caroline Mayne.
Tel: 0779 904 5955
Email: etam@aff.org.uk

FlipFlopFloss Sat 23-Mar-13 16:52:19

SOGGYSUMMER Did the AFF ever come back to you about this??

We are coming to the end of 30 years in the services and have saved bloody hard all our careers for a home for when we come out. We have just realised wont be entitled to UC because we saved for our own home for after life in forces.

I dont think £16k in savings is huge amount of excess wages/salary to put by over a 30 year period. Very roughly I work that out to be £40ish a month/£500 a year). I get that for some thats huge sum but for a couple that would have (if they had known where to settle for jobs after the services) bought a house say 15 to 20 years ago. We didnt and saved hard. No new cars, no foreign holidays etc etc.

Had we bought a house X years ago we would by now have paid off £X off our mortgage and would still be entitled to UC but because we didnt and did what was asked of us (to be completely mobile) we saved our spare money and still lived quite tightly to do so, we now wont be entitled to UC.

A bit of a bummer really but hey ho, at least we have had a job and roof over our heads. Maybe we should consider spending it on a massive family holiday together and then it will be gone and then we can claim. It seems to be yet again - we have done what was asked of us, done the sensible thing in planning and saving for our future so we are not leaving expecting to be housed by local authorities and Housing Associations but been shot in the foot for it.

Fab holiday and cheap rental home with no maintencance may be the way we go!!

jcscot Sun 14-Oct-12 15:55:02

That is the point of quarters, yes. My point was not about the provision of housing (or, indeed, the cost of that housing). You're right thst people need to save for life beyond the Forces as you have done.

My point was this: if you can afford to save a hefty deposit, then you don't need extra help in the form of benefits. It could be argued that the Forces have even more help than a family on civvie street because we get subsidised housing whereas as they have to pay market rent while trying to save.

Cuts have to be made somewhere and I think the UC sounds, in principle, like a good idea. However, I will happily stand corrected if someone more knowledgable than I can tell me why the Forces should be "special" in this instance.

SoggySummer Sun 14-Oct-12 15:00:08

I thought that was the idea of MQs though. Accommodation for mobile families where buying their own home and moveing every 2 to 3 years too costly and unrealistic. I always thoughht thats why MQ rent was cheap - in order for forces families to save up to buy their own home for when they leave.

BFBS radio always has adverts on saying what will you do when you leave the forces? Where will you live? Are you making provision?

On top of that the MOD have been running courses/seminars are alot of bases explaining that people should be planning for their future and not expecting to leave and get social housing.

Until they change the way of life for military personnel are posted so frequently throughout their careers (hopefully within the next 20 years but that will be after our time) then surely we cannot be expected to buy and sell every 2 to 3 years?

Like I said we did MU for 7 years but after spending less than 3 weeks together in one 12 month period and it really affecting our relationship we decided to become a mobile family. MU may work for some but not all and probably not very long term.

jcscot Sun 14-Oct-12 12:17:15

I don't think the Forces will bear the "brunt" of this in particular - anyone with savings will bear the "brunt". Why should the Forces be exempt from what seems like a sensible provsion? I fail to see why anyone with more than £16,000 in savings should be eligible for any means-tested benefits.

The Forces won't bear the brunt any more than anyone else who owns a house in which they don't live or is saving up a deposit for their own home while they rent. Welfare should be a cushion for those who have fallen on hard times, not extra padding for those who can afford to save so much.

ArmyFamiliesFederation Fri 12-Oct-12 10:12:02

Hi SoggySummer,

That's a good question! I've asked our AFF Specialist to look at it to she what she thinks smile

SoggySummer Wed 10-Oct-12 16:35:00

I will admit to being pig ignorant and understanding very little about the new Universal Tax Credit system coming in.

One thing I have heard a few times now is that people who have more than £16000 in savings will automatically be exempt from claiming. Another rumour is this includes £16000 plus in investments and property you dont live in.

Tbh - we probably wont want to claim as they screwed our tax credits spectacularly and now its sorted we dont intend to ever claim again until we have run out of body organs to sell.

However, we did sell our own home some years ago after a few years doing MU and finding its hard going (for us) long term. We are now in MQs and intend to stay that way until we know where we want to settle when DH leaves the forces. We have a sizeable lump sum in savings which we never touch and try to add to in order to buy our own home when DH comes out in 3 1/2 years time. Where we will settle is still a mystery - no where is like home to either of us anymore so we expect our final destination to be dictated by future jobs.

So will people like us be buggered??? I know "young" forces families maybe wont have £16000 plus in savings but surely some "older" families will have around this sum if not more or less in savings. What about those that have their own home they rent out whilst living in MQs???

Are Forces Families going to be at the brunt of yet more cuts and changes???

Anyone heard of this??

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