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North West families reap the benefits of Tax Free Childcare

NORTH West families using their Tax Free Childcare accounts to pay for their childcare costs are benefitting from a Government top up worth up to ₤500 every 3 months, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced. But there are thousands of families across the UK missing out on the chance to save money on childcare. They too could join more than 32,000 families across the North West who saved money using Tax Free Childcare, in December 2020, and received a share of more than ₤25 million in Government top up payments, throughout the UK.

Tax Free Childcare allows parents or carers who have children aged up to 11, or 17 if their child is disabled, to pay their childcare provider through the scheme, and receive a 20% Government top up on any money deposited. For every ₤8 per child a parent or carer deposits, they will receive ₤2 in top up, up to the value of ₤500 every 3 months, or ₤1,000 if their child is disabled. That equals ₤2,000, or ₤4,000 for the care of a disabled child, for a whole year. The top up is paid directly into the child's account and is ready to use almost instantly.

As children across the UK return to School, families can use the money to pay their childcare provider including childminder fees, after School clubs or sports activities, where the childcare provider has signed up to Tax Free Childcare. Families could also save money now to earn the Government top up and use the money to pay for childcare, summer camps and play schemes during School holidays.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC's Director General for Customer Services, said:- "As children return to their Schools, after School clubs and nurseries, help is available towards the cost of childcare. Families using Tax Free Childcare to pay their childcare provider are already benefiting from the 20% Government top up on deposits, and you could too. To find out more search:- 'Tax Free Childcare' on Gov.UK."

Tax Free Childcare is also available to families with pre-School aged children attending nurseries, childminders or other childcare providers. Parents and carers can check their eligibility and register for Tax Free Childcare via:- Gov.UK.

The Tax Free Savings on childcare costs can provide much needed financial support to families affected by the Pandemic. If parents and carers' working patterns have changed because of Covid19 or they have received either furlough payments or the Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant, they may still be eligible to receive Tax Free Childcare. Childcare providers can also sign up for a childcare provider account via:- Gov.UK to receive payments from parents and carers via the scheme.

20,000 refugees who fled Syria resettled in the UK

THE Government has resettled 20,080 refugees escaping the conflict in Syria through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme since September 2015, the Home Secretary has announced, on Thursday, 18 March 2021. In 2015, the then Prime Minister committed to resettling 20,000 refugees as part of the UK's response to the Syrian refugee crisis. The Government has worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to identify those most in need who would benefit from a new life in the UK, including women and children at risk and victims of torture. When they arrive in the UK, those resettled under the scheme are granted refugee status with full rights to live and work, and are provided with housing and support from Local Authorities and community sponsor groups to help them successfully integrate into their new communities. The Government is also announcing ₤13.99m of pilot funding to help newly granted refugees integrate. The pilots will support refugees to access stable housing, learn English and move into work, as well as building links in their local communities. Lessons learned will be used to improve the support available to all refugees. In total, across all Government funded resettlement schemes, more than 25,000 refugees have been resettled in the UK over the past 6 years and around ˝ of them are children.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:- "Behind each of 1 of these statistics lies the story of a mother, father, or child who can look forward to a better future because of the generosity of the British people. The UK has a proud history of helping those fleeing persecution, oppression or tyranny, and we will continue to offer protection for those in need, bringing refugees here safely and legally. This will be key as we build a new asylum system that is fair, but firm, supporting those fleeing peril while protecting the system from abuse."

Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, UK Representative for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said:- "The VPRS was a generous humanitarian response by the UK to the Syria crisis. It has been a real success, transforming the lives of thousands of refugees trapped in dire circumstances, and offering families a brighter future."

International Organization for Migration UK Chief of Mission Dipti Pardeshi said:- "The UK has achieved a significant milestone by resettling 20,000 refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. This is a testimony to the leadership and historical commitment of this country as a whole to the protection of those who are fleeing conflict and persecution. Legal pathways are life saving and crucial to prevent those in search of protection and dignity from undertaking perilous journey and ending up in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers."

The UK has a proud record of helping those fleeing persecution, oppression or tyranny from around the world. The UK is a global leader in resettlement, and has resettled more refugees from outside Europe than any EU member state between 2016 and 2019. The Syria crisis remains 1 of the UK's top priorities and we continue to deliver life saving aid to those in need, having spent over ₤3.5 billion to date; our largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis. Local Authorities and community groups have been vital to the success of the UK's resettlement schemes, stepping forward to offer support and helping refugees become part of their local community so they can rebuild their lives in safety. The Government will continue to offer protection to those in need through the new, global, UK Resettlement Scheme announced in 2019. The Government will also continue to work with Local Authorities and communities to support refugees to integrate into UK society. But we recognise that there are still challenges faced by those rebuilding their lives in the UK, which is why the Government has also announced a ₤13.99m fund to develop new projects in 6 pilot areas to help refugees with issues such as learning the English language, accessing education, work and building social networks. Charities and Local Authorities in 6 pilot areas will be able to bid for funding from April 2021 and lessons learned from the pioneering projects will be used to improve support for refugees across the UK. The Government is reforming the asylum system so it is fair, but firm, providing protection to those who need it through safe and legal routes while cracking down on abuse of the system where people enter the UK illegally in order to claim asylum.


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