Families could face a nasty surprise this April if they are not careful, Labour politicians have warned.
Figures released by the opposition party indicate that unless they work much longer hours, from 6 April as many as 200,000 families might miss out on nearly £4,000 worth of tax credits annually.
While couples only need to work 16 hours a week if they have youngsters in order to access Working Tax Credit at present, the Government is to change this to 24 hours from the spring.
The benefit, which is worth £3,870, could be lost by 212,000 households across the country, Labour's Treasury spokeswoman, Cathy Jamieson, said after studying official statistics.
Speaking to members of the Usdaw union, chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves described the changes as a "bombshell" for families.
She added: "This is a deeply unfair change from a Government that is increasingly out of touch with parents feeling the squeeze and struggling to juggle work and family life.
"Raising taxes and cutting spending too far and too fast has seen unemployment rise and the economy go into reverse, and many employers are cutting people's hours. In this climate, very few people in part-time work will be able to increase their hours by up to 50% at the moment."
Check out this information for further clarification over the basics of working tax credit.