The House of Commons social security committee expressed
concerns last week about the implementation of the new integrated
child credit and the need for full consultation.
Welcoming the child credit, the committee warned that it should
only be introduced once computer systems at the Inland Revenue, the
child benefit centre and the incoming working age agency are fully
compatible and operational.
Planned for 2003, the integrated child credit will incorporate
the different strands of income-related benefit support for
children found in income support, jobseeker’s allowance, working
families tax credit and disabled persons tax credit and the
children’s tax credit.
The committee supported the idea that child benefit and
integrated child credit should be paid by the same government
departments, but said it was worried that plans were “so uncertain
and ill-defined” at this stage.
Highlighting concerns for the future of child benefit, it
further recommended the preservation of a “separately identifiable
universal element” paid for all children regardless of means.