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Have the government done away with child tax credits?!?

(181 Posts)
Pop24 Wed 03-May-17 18:26:10

Had a nightmare day trying to apply for universal credit which has just replaced what would have been child tax credit in our area. We have savings of more than 16,000 (hard earned and saved house deposit!) but our household income is low. Am I right in thinking that child tax wasn't dependant on savings just income?? Yet You can't claim UC with savings of more than 16k. So, my query is, does this effectively mean ctc no longer exists? And how is that fair when people in some areas would still qualify for it? Are we really being penalised because we happen to live where we do when if we lived in the county next door we would still be able to claim child tax credits. So frustrated and confused. And advise much appreciated!

Letmesleepalready Wed 03-May-17 18:33:07

From what I understand yes, and that it's been kept quiet about how much money most people will lose. CTC were only affected if you got more than £300 in interest in savings, not by how much savings you have in total.

Pop24 Wed 03-May-17 18:41:57

Thanks. I'm a bit horrified by this mainly because as you say it's been kept completely quiet! I keep thinking its some sort of oversight or teething problem with the system but I fear much for helping hard working families!

gluteustothemaximus Wed 03-May-17 18:43:19

I'm guessing that the Tories will get their welfare budget cut one way or another. After they had to reverse their cuts, they'll probably just keep quiet about anything now. Easy to slip anything off the radar with constant talk of brexit and the GE.

Sorry that's not helpful, but I think UC is going to cause huge problems that won't be fully known until application.

gluteustothemaximus Wed 03-May-17 18:45:30

Here's a previous thread on it OP

Letmesleepalready Wed 03-May-17 18:46:04

Already UC is conditional, ctc aren't. So if you are earning under their threshold, you have to prove that you are looking for better pay/more hours. No idea how the sanctions work either, whether you lose the whole amount or a percentage.

Somerville Wed 03-May-17 18:59:28

More people need to hear about this before they decide who to vote for.

Widowed Parents Allowance is not exempt from UC which is another travesty of this new system.

Letmesleepalready Wed 03-May-17 19:10:25

In our local elections, the conservatives have announced that children's education/welfare is one of their priorities. Except they've just closed down the children centres, and the cuts to school budgets are getting worse. Unfortunately if you believe their leaflets and/or don't have kids that are affected by the change, you probably won't know they aren't as child friendly as they say!

Pop24 Wed 03-May-17 19:26:35

Thanks all just read the other thread. Shocker that they've managed to get away with sneaking the changes in like that and what are they up to elsewhere I wonder that we don't know about? I know we are lucky compared to some to have savings but the point of those is to better ourselves, build ourselves a future and a stable home so we are (hopefully) never dependent on the state for housing benefit!! Grrr. And yes it seems mad to me that if we already owned a home and therefore no longer had the savings we would be eligible , despite having say 100k equity in our home or a 17k car as mentioned on the previous thread. seems literally everything is stacked against young people and families...which is just one reason i certainly couldn't vote for the Tory party.

Babyroobs Wed 03-May-17 19:27:01

It is odd that people have been able to claim tax credits for years eith thousands in the bank. I have never understood this.

Babyroobs Wed 03-May-17 19:59:12

I think if the dwp moves you over to Uc then you get transitional protection and the new rules don't apply. however I think because you're making a new claim under UC then you are over the savings threshold. If you are not much over it then sensibly reduce your savings if you want to receive money.

Pop24 Wed 03-May-17 19:59:32

Well it was for people on low incomes wasn't it? 17k is hardly going to make you well off if you don't earn enough to live on and don't have much of a pension either. If you're having to dip into it to top you up it won't last long and you'll only end up back claiming more benefits again. Doesn't seem very well thought through. Agreed perhaps there should be and upper limit for very large amounts of savings but this change seems to penalise younger people who are saving to buy a property but don't yet have the earning power behind them to take on a mortgage.

OddBoots Wed 03-May-17 20:03:10

"It is odd that people have been able to claim tax credits for years eith thousands in the bank. I have never understood this."

There are people like the OP with savings that are for a house deposit yet people who have that much or more in equity in homes they have already bought will still be able to get it.

lougle Wed 03-May-17 20:04:50

It was never hidden. We were banging on about this for as long as I can remember before it came in and being told we were histrionic and needed to get a grip. It's what has been most frightening about these changes - they've all been in plain sight, but people are so confused about Tax Credits in the first place that they have no idea what the change to Universal Credit actually means until it is them or someone they know who can't get it, or loses huge amounts.

GetInTheFuckingSea Wed 03-May-17 20:05:53

Agree with you pop 24. £17k isn't much of a deposit in many parts of the country - it wouldn't even be 10% on a two bedroom place here for eg.

So it means that people won't be able to save to buy and therefore will be stuck claiming the housing element of UC - for how long? Until their kids are grown up? Because that's already costing billions.

Babyroobs Wed 03-May-17 20:06:22

We have 4 kids and don't get any tax credits. However if my dh loses his job ( which is a real possibility) we wouldn't get any help under the new system either as he is set to inherit some money from his late father so yes we would be expected to use inheritance, but I wouldn't expect to get help with thousands in the bank even though ideally I'd like to save that money to help my kids with Uni. It's just the way it is,

Babyroobs Wed 03-May-17 20:10:45

People won't necessarily be claiming the housing element just because they can't buy. it is a shame the government couldn't make exception to savings toward a house deposit for example if it was in a help to buy Isa or similar. Can people hide savings in their parents bank accounts or are the DWP going to check every UC claimants bank accounts?

GetInTheFuckingSea Wed 03-May-17 20:11:06

Saving money for uni isn't really the same as saving for a roof over your head, particularly when if people rent in perpetuity instead it ends up costing far more in the housing element of UC as rents continue to rise. Ie it's not going to save money in the long run.

Babyroobs Wed 03-May-17 20:26:06

I can completely understand the unfairness of seeing someone in a neighbouring ( non UC) area getting benefit money when you are on the same income and not getting it, but do people really think others should get top ups from the government ( which can amount to hundreds of pounds a month in some cases ) when they have say £20k in the bank? Really ?

caroldecker Wed 03-May-17 20:26:30

Universal credits has replaced most benefits. As most benefits had a savings limit, this makes complete sense.

Blowingthroughthejasmineinmymi Wed 03-May-17 20:30:24

so when is it coming in then UC??? seems to have been on cards for years

Babyroobs Wed 03-May-17 20:31:33

UC has replaced all the means tested benefits. Tax credits were the only one which let you keep thousands in the bank whilst still giving you top ups. Tax credits were always dressed up as some kind of tax rebate yet people go them who had never paid a penny in tax.

Babyroobs Wed 03-May-17 20:33:16

It is already up and running for some claimants in some parts of the country.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 03-May-17 20:35:43

UC has replaced all the means tested benefits. Tax credits were the only one which let you keep thousands in the bank whilst still giving you top ups. Tax credits were always dressed up as some kind of tax rebate yet people go them who had never paid a penny in tax.

^ this.

It was never hidden

^ this too.

Talk of this has been around and open for a long time.

Babyroobs Wed 03-May-17 20:56:43

Pop24. In areas UC is being introduced, it is only initially available to certain ' Gateway groups'- where the claims are simple ( no kids, savings don't exceed £6k etc).
This may be why it won't let you apply - because you have ticked a box to say you have more than £16k in savings therefore you are not eligible to apply for UC yet. However eventually everyone will be migrated over.
If it is not allowing you to apply, you may still be bale to apply for tax credits in the normal way. Have you tried to apply for tax credits.
There is another thread on a similar theme below where another poster was having similar problems to you. I tried to explain on that thread too.

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