The Autumn Statement


Tax Credits

It is never an easy task to stretch one household income to meet the needs of two households when couples separate.

In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that earlier proposals to cut tax credits would be abandoned.  This comes as a welcome relief to separating couples particularly in light of the court’s current move away from long term spousal maintenance.  In line with recent case law, the court’s view, if circumstances allow, is for maintenance to be paid for such period as to allow the receiver to become financially independent.  Often the receiver of maintenance is the carer of children and thus their ability to work or increase their employed income is difficult.  Tax credits have for some time been a method for the main carer of children to become financially independent and for the burden on the payer of maintenance to be reduced.

Free Child Care Hours

Those parents working 16 hours or more a week can benefit from the new 30 hour free childcare subsidy if their children are between the ages of three and four.  This will assist parents to return to work and enable them to become financially independent more quickly.

Shared Ownership Housing

Often there is insufficient capital available for separating couples to remain in or purchase property.  The government has pledged £4 billion to shared ownership schemes to benefit those earning less than £80,000 and wanting to invest in property.  This will be of significant assistance in helping parties to remain or embark on the housing ladder.

If you would like to know how these changes could affect you, please contact Elizabeth Bettes on 0118 9575337 (Reading office) or Sandra Marshall on 01344 887510 (Windsor office).

Elizabeth Bettes

Published on 07/01/2016

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