In his pre-budget statement chancellor Gordon Brown confirmed plans
to increase spending on public services by 3.3 per cent a year in
real terms in 2004-5 and 2005-6.
The lion’s share of the new money will go to the key priorities of
health, education, transport, social services, housing and criminal
From April the principle behind working families tax credit will be
extended to single adults who earn less than £10,500 a year
and couples aged 25 and over without children who earn less than
£14,000 a year.
This will be the working tax credit, which will be complemented by
the child tax credit which, taken with child benefit, will be worth
£2,800 a year for low income families with one child and
£4,800 for a two-child family.
Nearly six million families are expected to gain from the child tax
New rights to parental time off will be given to fathers, including
the right to attend antenatal care appointments with their
Brown also promised an extra £90m over three years for the
discretionary part of the Social Fund, and said he would consider
tax incentives for the expansion of employer-supported child care.