John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “The Chancellor has an opportunity tomorrow to reverse his deeply damaging tax credit cuts, but this is not a time for fiddling at the edges to give the impression that the Government has listened. There needs to be wholesale reform of his proposals, preferably a reversal, to prevent huge losses of income for many working families that will inevitably lead to children being driven into poverty. The Chancellor must listen to both Parliament and the public and ensure that any further cuts do not come from families already struggling to get by.
“Increasing income tax thresholds, raising the minimum wage and extending free childcare have been welcome, but go nowhere near compensating for the significant loss of income that tax credit recipients will suffer under current plans. Many of the families who stand to lose significantly in April will gain nothing from the minimum wage rise or the personal tax allowance increase. And there are concerns about the funding of the extra free childcare with doubts as to whether the policy can be delivered on the ground.
“After the Budget, low-paid working families were left worried sick about how to make ends meet next April, having already suffered from the last Government’s cuts in working tax credit. They will be listening intently tomorrow to see if the Chancellor has recognised he got it wrong and whether he will pull back from a dramatic slashing of family incomes.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 440,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion