Working families in 1066 Country will suffer under cuts, says Unison


Government cuts to tax credits next April will leave millions of low to middle income working families across the UK significantly worse off, according to new research published by Unison.

The union said thousands of households across 1066 Country also will suffer under the changes.

Using figures published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Unison has calculated that across the UK more than 2.7 million working families could lose as much as £3,000 a year next April.

In his July Budget, the Chancellor announced changes to the tax credit taper and threshold.

The union said the move will see £4.4 billion a year taken out of the pockets of low to middle income families across the UK. In some cases people stand to lose more than 10 per cent of their take home pay.

According to the research, the number of working families with children claiming tax credits in the Hastings and Rye constituency stands at 5,600.

In the neighbouring Bexhill and Battle constituency, the figure is 3,700.

Both Hastings and Rye MP, Amber Rudd and Bexhill and Battle’s MP, Huw Merriman, voted in favour of the cuts to tax credits.

Unison said the worst affected constituency in the country is West Ham in East London where 10,900 families will suffer as a result of the proposed tax credit cuts.

And at the other end of the scale, Winchester, Beaconsfield, Kensington, Henley are among the more affluent parts of the UK where there are far fewer families relying on tax credits to top up their wages, the union added.

Dave Prentis, Unison’s general secretary, said: “Many of the millions of families who will be the victims of the Chancellor’s cruel tax credits snatch and grab still have no idea that they are going to lose out next year. When they start receiving letters in the post from HMRC just before Christmas, it will mean chaos for family finances.

“Tax credits are a lifeline for these families – quite simply they are the difference between them keeping their heads above water and going under.

“The huge loss of income – of between £1,000-£3,000 a year – will have a devastating impact upon the millions of family budgets that have yet to recover from the living standards crisis. Parents, who will go without in a vain attempt to make sure their children don’t, will be forced deeper into debt.

“The Government is full of praise for people who go out to work to try and provide better lives for their children. Yet these are the very people these punitive changes will hurt. It’s time for the Chancellor to admit that he’s got this one very wrong, and back down before it’s too late.”

Mr Merriman said: “I recognise that these changes will not be easy for those impacted but we have to move away from a system where low-wages are topped up by welfare payments.

“This costs taxpayers billions and discourages higher pay. By setting a new living wage of £9 per hour, cutting taxes for all and increasing the tax allowance for the lowest paid, the Government hopes to off-set the reduction of tax credits.

“It is part of our settlement towards a low welfare, low tax and higher pay society which we were elected to deliver.”

Ms Rudd said: “We need to move from a high tax, high welfare economy to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society. Together with a growing and stronger economy, that’s the sustainable way to make working people better off.”

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