More than half of North East families will be affected by planned tax credit cuts, making us one of the hardest hit region’s in the country, it has been claimed.
The Government is set to carry out £12bn worth of benefits cuts which it will detail at its next Budget. Tax credits is predicted to be one of the areas where the axe will fall heaviest.
It is reportedly being considered that they will be cut back to the 2003 level, which the Institute for Fiscal Studies has calculated would reduce entitlements for about 3.7m low-income families with children by an average of £1,400 a year, reducing spending by about £5bn.
Labour says that 148,000 North East families – or 56% of the total – benefit from tax credits.
House of Commons figures also show that 70% per cent of those claiming them in the region are in work.
Ian Lavery, Labour MP for Wansbeck said:
“David Cameron and George Osborne must come clean about their proposals to cut tax credits. Their plans clearly put over half of the families with children in the region in the firing line.
“Many families have suffered greatly under the first five years of the Tories, with their incomes falling and bills rising, making life a real struggle already.
“Time after time, during the election campaign and in the first month of this government, they have ducked and weaved to avoid revealing the true nature of their plans. It’s not fair and it’s causing great distress for many. It’s time for the Prime Minister to spell out just what he has in store for families across the region and let the public decide whether his cuts are fair.”
According to campaign groups and charities, the welfare cuts will see the already high level of child poverty in the North East spread even to some affluent areas.