Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Gordon Brown Launches National campaign for working families [October 2000]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 23 October 2000.

Chancellor Gordon Brown and Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo will today urge working parents to apply for Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC), as they launch a major new publicity campaign and publish new figures showing 2.2 million children are now better off as a result of WFTC.

The mould-breaking £5 million WFTC national advertising campaign – which will run for a month – features parents and families who have actually been claiming the WFTC, and spells out the degree to which they have benefited as a result.

At the launch in London today, Mr Brown showed that:

  • Over 1.1 million families are already receiving the WFTC – 300,000 more than claimed Family Credit (FC) at its peak;
  • 2.2 million children are living in those 1.1 million households, compared to 1.68 million children in families claiming FC at its peak;
  • On average each family is receiving over £76 a week;
  • On average each family is £30 a week better off than they would have been under Family Credit.

Mr Brown said:

I’m urging Britain’s families to ring the freephone response line – 0800 5975976 – and check whether they’re eligible for the WFTC. Over 3 million families have already done so.

I want every eligible family to know about it, claim it and receive it – making work pay more than benefits is a major way to tackle child poverty.

There is an estimated one million job vacancies in the economy and WFTC makes work pay and has taken a million children out of poverty. The next step is to take the second million out of poverty, and we’ll be bringing forward proposals to do this during the next Parliament.

We’ve brought in a range of measures to help parents combine work with the vital job of bringing up children, but we know there’s much more to do. WFTC gives families a real choice, helping them move from welfare to work, getting off benefits and out of poverty. Scrapping WFTC would deny working families – couples or lone parents – that choice of whether to work, and would leave millions of children and their parents in poverty.

WFTC shows that this is a Government on the side of Britain’s hard-working families.

Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo said:

WFTC means that working families will no longer need to apply to the social security office to take home a living income. It provides generous help with childcare and ensures that every child has the best start in life.

Alongside initiatives like the New Deal, Sure Start and the new Children’s Tax Credit, WFTC is providing new opportunities for millions of families in the UK.