Single parents face £1,000 ‘love tax’ if they remarry or find new partner

Lib Dem peers will seek to overturn part of new Universal Credit system that could affect up to a million people


Peers will be urged to block controversial welfare reforms that will impose a “love tax” of around £1,000 on single parents who get married or find a new partner.

As part of the Government’s rollout of Universal Credit, ministers promised that no one moving to the new system of benefits would see a fall in their income.

But it has now emerged that this guarantee was limited and would not apply to any claimant whose circumstances had “materially changed” once they had moved on to the new system of payments.

As a result of the exemption any single parent who moves in with a partner or gets married will have their benefits reassessed at a new less generous rate after Universal Credit is introduced from 2017.

Research suggests that there are currently up to a million single parents who could be affected by the change – which would cost them on average £1,080 a year.

On Wednesday Liberal Democrat peers will attempt to overturn the new rules when they debate the Welfare Reform Bill in the House of Lords. Labour has tabled a separate amendment that calls for the Government to publish an impact assessment showing the levels of benefits reductions to claimants who are moving from tax credits to Universal Credit.

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