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Take-up of family credit and working families' tax credit: final report

Adam, S.; Brewer, M.; (2005) Take-up of family credit and working families' tax credit: final report. (HMRC Working Papers 1a ). HM Revenue and Customs: London, UK. Green open access

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The current government has substantially increased the use of means-tested tax and benefit programmes to try to help people on low incomes. An important early example of this was the replacement in October 1999 of Family Credit (FC), a benefit providing support for low-income working parents, by Working Families' Tax Credit (WFTC). WFTC was delivered differently from FC, it was described as a tax credit rather than a benefit, and it was also much more generous than its predecessor. However, the efficacy of using means-testing to help people on low incomes is limited by the fact that many of the people eligible for means-tested programmes do not take them up. Because of this, one of the government's stated aims when introducing WFTC was to encourage take-up, arguing that as a tax credit rather than a welfare benefit, it will reduce the stigma associated with claiming in-work support, and encourage higher take-up. In this paper we try to answer the question of whether the replacement of FC by WFTC did indeed encourage take-up. We also try and identify more generally what factors are important in explaining non-take-up of FC and WFTC, in particular quantifying the effect of entitlement level and examining the effects of people's knowledge of, and attitudes towards, in-work support. Our approach is an econometric one, investigating the relationship between take-up of FC/WFTC and a variety of explanatory variables in two micro-data-sets, the Family Resources Survey (FRS) and the Families and Children Survey (FACS).

Type: Report
Title: Take-up of family credit and working families' tax credit: final report
ISBN: 1904938111
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/research/
Language: English
Additional information: © Crown copyright 2005. Reproduced under the Click-Use Licence
Keywords: Labour supply, microsimulation, working families tax credit, take-up, discrete choice
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/18448
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