£1M tax boost forBorders families

A STAGGERING £1million in tax credit income has been clawed back for Borders families by Scottish Borders Council’s Welfare Benefits Service.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 26th October 2010, 9:16 am

This milestone was reached recently by Ian Riddell, whose part-time post, funded by the Childcare Partnership, was created in 2006, following an audit of childcare need which discovered that many families were missing out on their entitlement to tax credits.

Since then, Mr Riddell has been raising awareness and giving advice to families on entitlement to tax credits, often attending family centres, nurseries and primary schools and ensuring that the service is developed in the more remote areas of the Borders.

He told us: “In the last four years, the service I offer has been promoted throughout the Borders, but I continue to come across people who are unaware of their entitlement.

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“Last week, for example, I met a couple with an income of £35,000 who had three children at nursery. They were surprised to learn that they were entitled to £54 per week towards their childcare costs through working tax credits in addition to their child tax credit.

“This is, of course, only an example and the level of tax credits payable will depend on levels of income, hours worked and amount of childcare costs. It is important to take advice if you are not sure about your entitlement as many families miss out.”

As well as giving advice on entitlement to new claims, Mr Riddell has had considerable success in helping claimants challenge the recovery of tax credit overpayments.

Councillor Frances Renton, executive member for social work services, said: “It is particularly important during these difficult times that families are fully aware of the support that is available.

“This valuable service ensures that they have the advice and information they need to be able to maximise their incomes and make the most of the benefits they are entitled to.”