John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “With households already being on average £1,127 a year worse off due to the Government’s changes to taxes and benefits in the last Parliament, the Chancellor made a grave error in last year’s Budget by proposing tax credit cuts for low-paid working people, which he had to pull back from in the Autumn Statement. Despite that u-turn he still left the average working family facing a £1,600 loss of income when they are forced on to Universal Credit.
“Today the Chancellor could have looked again at his Universal Credit cuts, which are a ticking time bomb for many families, and reversed them. But he didn’t and it makes you wonder whether the Government lives in the real world, when we hear them prioritising savings schemes for those in receipt of tax credits and Universal Credit.
“The principle of saving for the future is a sound one, but the idea that those receiving in-work benefits have spare cash to stow away is far-fetched. The savings these people have to make is the choice between heating and eating. That is the real world for low-paid workers and their families.”
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: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion