1 May 2014

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many awards of tax credits there have been where the national insurance number of one or more claimants was identifiable as one issued to a person who was not a UK national at the time of issue of the number in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the total amount was of those awards.

Nicky Morgan (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury; Loughborough, Conservative)

In March 2013, information was extracted from HMRC’s tax credit system in respect of the number of families claiming tax credits where, if claiming as a couple, at least one of the family members was recorded as being a non-UK national when they registered for a national insurance number.

The extract shows that as at March 2013, 715,900 such families were claiming tax credits. If we assume no further changes until the end of the relevant year, the annual tax credits entitlement of these awards was £4.9 billion. The same extract showed that the total number of families claiming tax credits was 4,705,100 with an annual entitlement of £29.55 billion.

For this purpose, as nationality was based on nationality at the time a claimant first registered for a national insurance number (NINO)the nationality of some of those claimants may have since changed. The information is not therefore sufficiently reliable to be used for formal statistical purposes.

Based on this information the numbers of non-UK nationals claiming tax credits as a percentage of the entire tax credits population are broadly in line with the percentage of non-UK nationals in the UK work force (according to figures in the 2013 Labour Force Surveycomplied by the ONS).

(Citation: HC Deb, 1 May 2014, c799W)