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REGULATIONS ON CHANGES TO CHILD PERSONAL ALLOWANCES

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Regulations were laid before parliament on Friday by Peter Lilley, secretary of state for social security, which wi...
Regulations were laid before parliament on Friday by Peter Lilley, secretary of state for social security, which will change the arrangements for paying allowances for dependant children in income-related benefits and extend help with childcare charges.

The regulations, which were announced on 3rd July, were published with the Social Security Advisory Committee's report on the proposals and Mr Lilley's response.

Mr Lilley said: ' These changes will align the increases for dependant children more closely with the start of the school year following their 11th and 16th birthday, when the transition to secondary or further education is generally made, and extend the availability of the help currently provided for childcare charges.

'I have considered carefully the Social Security Advisory Committee's report on these regulations and noted their concerns. I have however decided to proceed with the original proposal which will target the help more effectively by strengthening the link to educational needs, while saving an estimated £45 million rising to £115 million over the next 3 years.'

The regulations will in Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit change the date for increases in the allowances for children and young dependant people from the 11th and 16th birthday to the first Monday in September following that birthday;

-- make corresponding changes to Family Credit and Disability Working Allowance, where the increase will take effect from the award following the new trigger date;

-- continue to pay the rate awarded from the September following the 16th birthday to those who remain in fulltime non-advanced education until they leave school or reach age 19, whichever occurs first;

-- increase the help with childcare costs by extending the childcare disregard from the 11th birthday until the following September, or, in Family Credit and Disability Working Allowance, the beginning of the award in which the increase in the child credit or allowance takes effect.

These changes will take effect from April 1997 in all of the benefits except Family Credit and Disability Working Allowance, where they will take effect from October 1997.

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