Welfare Benefits and Tax Credit handbook (8th Edition)
Fitzpatrick et al, CPAG
£33 (£8 for benefit claimants)
STAR RATING: 5/5
This is simply the best and most vital guide to benefits and tax credits that you can buy, writes Gary Vaux.
If you are serious about giving good advice, even if it is only “sign-posting” or as a small part of your work, then you must have the latest edition of this book.
It is comprehensive, detailed, accurate and incredibly well-researched.
The writing style isn’t exactly Jilly Cooper, but explaining benefits and tax credits is an essentially technical matter and the 11 authors, apparently seamlessly, do the job required of them.
There are some quibbles, of course: the indexing and cross-referencing can be somewhat tortuous at times (try looking up the benefit rules for 16/17 year olds to see what I mean); and even CPAG can be caught on the hop when the Department for Work and Pensions changes benefit rules between the book being written and when it is printed.
Indeed, it is for that reason that the book is also now available on-line at exactly the same price as the printed version, with updates included as the year progresses. But at 1,600 pages, I wouldn’t recommend printing it off!
Gary Vaux is Community Care’s welfare expert and head of money advice at Hertfordshire Council