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to think that if you used to moan about the Tax Credits system....

(175 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Tue 23-Oct-12 12:44:56

that you have a lot more to moan about now?

I always used to wonder why people bemoaned the Tax Credit system - it enabled me to go back to work, it helped me pay for child care that made working worth while - it really helped me when my children were younger, before TC i used to work, but most of my wage went on child care.

Up until this government got it, we still got a small amount of TC, - it helped hugely.

Yesterday, i got the renewal through. Ive not had any payments for months and so i rang them to ask why they had sent a renewal through that made no sense - it said we should get about £4k but then deducted £4k.....

so i rang them.
Now, if your household income is more than £26k (with one child still at school) you get nothing.

if our household income was 26k, we would be unable to pay our mortgage, or eat. I have no idea how they think that people with families to support, who pay mortgages and rising bills, petrol costs etc can afford to live on that?

my wages look good, but by the time ive paid into the (rapidly declining) pension, £200, paid petrol, £250, mortgage, £685, council tax, bills and food, and im trying to support my eldest through university by paying for his food, there would be a serious serious shortfall if we had only my wage alone.....

i have said on threads before that i couldnt understand people moaning about the TC system.....

Is it a case of you dont know what you ve got until its gone?

CharleeWarlee Tue 23-Oct-12 13:02:01

Im absolutely livid with tax credits TBH.

When I was working, i worked 25 hours pw, my partner 42. Our annual income before being taxed was to be £26k. We got £25 pw for DD who is 4.

I phoned them to say I was no longer working (resigned due to bullying and being pregnant with them refusing to pay SMP so had to turn to MA)

Had my renewal come through - bearing in mind that our new estimate for the year is now £22k as I earnt £4k whilst working this year - and we are now entitled to £24 pw. I havent a clue how they work it out.

To top it off, I had a letter off them to say I was overpaid £100 last year, even though I over estimated our wage (Not on purpose - I was signed off due to illness for 6 months so didnt earn as much as I thought I would)

They can get screwed.

I dont know how some people survive. I am surprised I still have a house over my head with the wage we have coming in as after tax my DP is only bringing home £14k a year sigh

chocoluvva Tue 23-Oct-12 13:07:17

Ours has gone now too.
We had four payments as usual since april. Then they were stopped after we returned the self-assessment form in July. Thank goodness we did return it or we'd have a huge bill by now for overpayments.
DH and I normally follow the budget, listening for things that will affect us but this escaped both of us.
We were very disappointed.

Mosman Tue 23-Oct-12 13:11:49

Tax credits caused us to be over paid in their eyes by £22k. Basically accepted a childcarer and then decided not to but only after the year had been completed and she had been paid. So I worked one year supporting 6 of us on minus £2,000 overall.
I shall be paying for that year of being at work for the next ten years.
Arrived for the appeal/tribunal having been told I didn't need any representation to be faced with a tax specialist and a lawyer v's little old and a pile of papers.
The whole system needs a good shake.

RosemaryHoyt Tue 23-Oct-12 13:15:16

I can't bear to even think abt it ATM. Am deferring tax credit and self employed tax to new year. Ah, that's better.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Tue 23-Oct-12 13:15:50

Despite me being diasbled and DH being our only earner, in the Armed Forces so not on a massive amount, we have only ever qualified for the £50 a month basic tax credits.

DH has a 50 mile each way commute, so we spend £70 a week on fuel for his car, plus I have to put diesel in mine because I can't use public transport as the bus stop is too far away! We have to buy a bus pass for DS1 to get to college, are going to have to support him through Uni. DS2 is going to sixth firm next year so we will be buying extras for him too. I can't afford to have my heating on in the day, so sit under blankets.

Do you fancy swapping?

StaceeJaxx Tue 23-Oct-12 13:15:57

Don't get me started on the bastard tax credits. angry

We had an overpayment of just over £1k a few years ago. When we got our renewal through in April they said they were taking it back at £4 per week. Which was fine, DH was working (earning £16k) and we got £120 per week in CTC and WTC. DH made redundant in July, start claiming dole, so the they decide to taking the overpayment back at £30 per week! WTF! confused hmm Have phoned them twice and they've "reviewed" it, and it's stayed the same. Have been to the CAB who've written to them, it's stayed the same. I wrote a snotty letter 2 weeks ago it's still the fucking same!

I don't know where they get their fucking logic from. Family working take £16 a month off them for overpayment, family unemployed and on benefits take £120 a month off them for overpayment. Who the fuck are these people? We now get just over £800 a month for 2 adults and 2 kids that includes TC, CB, HB, and JSA and we have to pay fucking everything out of that. FGS, someone needs to make DC bankrupt and let him live on the dole for a year see how he'd cope. angry

mumblechum1 Tue 23-Oct-12 13:16:28

we've never been entitled to TC thank God but it does seem unfair to put a rug under a huge swathe of the population who come to rely on it and then whip it away like this.

Lougle Tue 23-Oct-12 13:17:59

People don't understand Tax Credits. They hear the words, and then somehow think that they are a 'refund' or 'credit' of tax paid. They don't realise that they are a benefit, and that many, many working families rely on them.

I think the issue is that if you are on a low income, then a mortgage will kill you financially. If you rent, you may well get help towards rent.

Orwellian Tue 23-Oct-12 13:21:29

"if our household income was 26k, we would be unable to pay our mortgage, or eat. I have no idea how they think that people with families to support, who pay mortgages and rising bills, petrol costs etc can afford to live on that?"

I don't get this kind of thinking. It's not the governments job to pay your mortgage or shopping bills. This is/was the problem with tax credits (and housing benefit) - people have got so used to having their income subsidised that they are not prepared for this being taken away. And the reason why they need subsidising is because big business and rich landlords were gifted (under Labour) a subsidy so that they could pay low wages and charge ridiculous rental rates. Now this is all coming to and end and reality is crashing down. Blame Labour. They brought in the ridiculous system that allowed companies to reduce their wages and caused such a huge rise in the cost of housing!

Mosman Tue 23-Oct-12 13:23:09

Tax credits were taken into account when people's affordability was calculated for mortgages. It was never going to end well

CharleeWarlee Tue 23-Oct-12 13:25:37

In addition to my previous post about partner only bringing home £14k after tax, me not working and only receiving £24pw CTC.

We arent entitled to WTC apparently, nor HB or CTB. Therefore have to pay all of our rent and council tax. We struggle hugely!

Shakey1500 Tue 23-Oct-12 13:28:54

Another GRRR for tax credits here. We are, this year, over the entitlement limit which is fine. However they are trying to claim an "overpayment" for last year of £3200. This is despite me telling them of DH's new job, despite me asking "are you sure we're still entitled confused, being told "yes", despite me saying "I don't want to be in an overpayment situation" and despite me being told "Oh no,you won't owe anything..."

I'm currently disputing it. I have my taped phone calls that clearly illustrate the above. It's going to be a long battle on my hands but I'm prepared to fight.

Shakey, they pulled the same stunt here. Unfortunately I didn't have recorded callm however we played hard ball when it came to repayment so they have accepted £10 a month until some distant time.

MimsyBorogroves Tue 23-Oct-12 13:34:22

We lost ours this year too, despite my taking an £11,000 pay cut.

The two factors together (the pay cut being after compulsory redundancy and not being able to find equal work) mean that, now I am on maternity leave with DS2, I will not be able to return to work as fulltime childcare, plus care for DS1 around school hours and the cost of petrol commuting to and from work is more than my monthly salary.

Lougle Tue 23-Oct-12 13:40:16

Charlee Tax Credits is calculated on gross income, so they calculate it on the £17k pre-tax, not the 14k post tax.

Shakey1500 Tue 23-Oct-12 13:49:19

Statistically If an overpayment is disputed then they have to, if requested, send copies of all correspondance, screen shots of all changes/renewals made and a CD of recorded calls. It's a mountain of paperwork to get through.

We're not entitled to TC anymore so they can't take a payment out of existing, they want the full amount. I think if we lose, they can accept an offer of payment from us. £10 a month it will be in that case.

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 23-Oct-12 13:52:07

Owellian has hit the nail on the head.
Such a ridiculous system.

My Dad always says that if you give people money, someone will always find a way to take it off them.
This happened in the form of higher rents and mortgages with tax credits. And like you said Orwelian companies get away with paying less.

The same thing happened with student grants (v lucky to be the last year to receive one) the accommodation was always priced to match the grant.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 23-Oct-12 13:59:21

dont get me wrong - i am not expecting the gvt to pay my bills or mortgage - and we are lucky in that we are and will manage - its a squeeze but i know there are plenty worse off....

but people used to moan about the system prior to this gvt - truth is that families with children who wanted to work had it much much easier under the last gvt than this one.

i never included my TC in anything - not for mortgage purposes - too risky.

but i used to think 26k was a lot of money - realistically in an average household with kids, cars, and bills it goes no where. I do not and have never expected hand outs - we have both always worked - what im saying is that TC enabled me to work.

spicandspan Tue 23-Oct-12 14:02:26

I'm a bit confused.
Do they work out how much tc you get according to the number / age of your Dcs? Our small tc payments stopped in april, but dc 3 was born in aug and now we're eligible again... Although our income is higher than several mentioned in this thread...

Boopers Tue 23-Oct-12 14:03:58

IME people moaned about the system; overppayimg then claiming back/ spending hours trying to get through to them/it not being predictable etc etc rather than thinking the actual monetary payments were unfair.

Yes, now there is much more to complain about

Mosman Tue 23-Oct-12 14:04:04

They may well have to provide recordings etc but they loose them and shrug their shoulders, god help you if you loose a piece of paper from 2006 though

SchrodingersMew Tue 23-Oct-12 14:05:39

My DGM phoned recently and they said she was eligible so she sent the claim pack back. She got an award letter last week saying that she was to get £0 per week. confused

I don't understand it, she's single (widow) and works 24 hours a week and is 68.

Lougle Tue 23-Oct-12 14:07:45

spicandspan Yes, they give you a variety of 'elements'. One of those 'elements' is £2690 for each child you have. So, if you previously had income which just missed the threshold, then having an extra child may well push you back into entitlement.

niceguy2 Tue 23-Oct-12 14:08:09

What Orwellian said!!!!

And to make things even more farcical Labour didn't use spare money floating around to fund tax credits. No they chuffing stuck it on the nation's credit card.

So now we have a complicated TC system which noone fully understands. You can never ever be sure what you are entitled to is the correct amount. It takes an army of bureaucrats to sort out. Was paid to those who plainly didn't need it. And in reality was being paid for by our kids.

It's become a national albatross but one which has grown so big that it cannot be easily dismantled.

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