Tax Credits DO Help to Break Up Families; Parents Encouraged to Divorce to Claim Higher Benefits, Says Report

Daily Mail (London), March 3, 2009 | Go to article overview

Tax Credits DO Help to Break Up Families; Parents Encouraged to Divorce to Claim Higher Benefits, Says Report


Byline: Steve Doughty Affairs Correspondent

LABOUR'S tax credits have caused thousands of families to break up, an authoritative study said yesterday.

The flagship scheme is blamed for a doubling of the divorce rate among lowincome parents with young children.

Tax credits, introduced a decade ago to cut child poverty, were supposed to help single mothers and hard-working families.

But a so-called 'couple penalty' means that a mother can pick up more than [pounds sterling]100 extra a week by splitting from her partner.

Evidence published by the Royal Economic Society said that tax credits give mothers married to men on low earnings an incentive to divorce.

The study found that the divorce rate among mothers with low-income husbands rose by 160 per cent in the three years after the benefits were brought in.

Marco Francesconi, of the University of Essex, said that tax credits had limited the very important.' benefits of marriage, encouraged mothers to work and produced a 'greater risk of family disruption'.

He said: 'The result that tax credits had strong employment and divorce effects on married mothers in poor households is very important.'

The findings, published in the highly-influential Economic Journal, are the first hard evidence that tax credits are working to drive couples apart.

Jill Kirby, of the Centre for Policy Studies, a centre-Right think-tank, said: 'Tax credits were sold as the solution to poverty for hard-working families. Now we know they are the benefit that breaks up families.'

Professor Francesconi and two senior colleagues based their research on 3,235 couples tracked from 1991 by the British Household Panel Survey.

'Women married to a partner who did not work or who worked fewer than 16 hours a week were more than 2 per cent more likely to dissolve their partnership after the reform than their childless counterparts,' the report said.

'This is a substantial impact on the divorce rate, representing an increase of almost 160 per cent with respect to the pre-reform period.

'This response could have been an unintended consequence of the reform, which may turn out to be important for the evaluation of the longer-term success of the reform itself.'

Tax credits provide a supplement to pay for parents who work for more than 16 hours a week. From the start, they were heavily skewed toward pushing single mothers into jobs to relieve poverty among loneparent families.

Claimants are paid through their wages by employers who are required to adjust take-home pay according to their workers' entitlements.

Tax credits are higher for those with children, and they include payments of up to [pounds sterling]300 a week to cover costs of daycare for working mothers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tax Credits DO Help to Break Up Families; Parents Encouraged to Divorce to Claim Higher Benefits, Says Report
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.