Tax credit cuts could create misery for 6,700 Fenland families

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upset boy against a wall ENGEMN00120130227154001
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misery for thousands of families

Children’s charity Barnardo’s has warned that 6,700 families could be left unable to buy food or clothing if Chancellor George Osborne announces plans to cut the credits in today’s budget.

The charity is urging politicians to keep the ‘lifeline’ benefit and not to cut tax credits following signals from the Government that it will be reduced, with some families potentially losing it completely.

This is part of a plan to axe £12bn from the welfare bill, expected to be announced in today’s Budget.

Barnardo’s has calculated that 6,700 families currently use tax credits to top up low incomes and if the cut goes ahead 12,500 children in Fenland stand to be affected.

Tax credits, which include child tax credits and working tax credits, were introduced in 1998 as a response to rising child poverty, caused by low wages and high living costs. Since the introduction of tax credits, the number of children living in poverty in the UK has fallen from 35 per cent to 19 per cent.

Barnardo’s, as part of End Child Poverty, is campaigning to halt plans to change tax credits and is calling on people to support their campaign.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “Without this income, many parents could not afford their weekly food shopping, let alone school uniforms and books. With low wages and high living costs stretching budgets across Fenland, tax credits are an everyday lifeline for British families.

“Children who grow up poor are more likely to be ill, do worse at school and be jobless in future. If as a society we fail to invest in children now, we will all bear the costs in the future.

“Families would be better off if the government focused on tackling low wages and high childcare costs, instead of cutting struggling families’ income.”

For more information visit www.barnardos.org.uk