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The Fiscalization of Social PolicyHow Taxpayers Trumped Children in the Fight Against Child Poverty$
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Joshua T. McCabe

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190841300

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190841300.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2022

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom

The Children’s Budget

(p.123) 5 The United Kingdom
The Fiscalization of Social Policy

Joshua T. McCabe

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 examines how in the UK the Blair government’s promise to end child poverty translated into the introduction of the Working Families Tax Credit in 1998, which was subsequently split into the Working Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit in 2001. The UK follows the Canadian case in terms of tracing the dominant logic of income supplementation to the cultural legacy of family allowances and ends up with the same combination of refundable tax credits. When the Labour government reached the limits of income-testing, the Treasury quietly turned to fiscalization as the solution to expand benefits in the face of pressures for austerity. The Family Income Supplement was simply converted into the Working Families Tax Credit. While its predecessor had been classified as spending, the Working Families Tax Credit was classified as revenues not collected. The limits of fiscalization were soon tested, as the Office of National Statistics called the government’s reclassification into question.

Keywords:   Working Families Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, New Labour, Children’s Budget, child poverty, Office of National Statistics

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