200,000 families ‘hit by tax credit changes’

working tax credits

working tax creditsMany of us rely heavily on small pieces of Government help such as tax credits - and according to a union, as many as 200,000 families are now in poverty due to recent changes to Working Tax Credit.

Usdaw said that these families are now £73 a week worse off since the changes outlined in March's Budget.

Many have had to increase their working hours to a minimum of 24 per week to ensure that they keep this support stream, which is worth £3,870 a year.

Some 203,000 couples, with 449,000 children, were working up to the 24-hour threshold a week when the changes were introduced and Usdaw said that all but 10,000 couples - who are carers in some capacity - will have lost their Working Tax Credit from April 6 if they did not take on more hours.

General secretary John Hannett said: "The Government defended its shameful attack on working couples trying to do the right thing by insisting they would be able to get extra of hours of work. The Government's own figures released today blow that claim out of the water.

"If they have an ounce of decency or concern for real people then ministers should accept that they have got this wrong and should immediately suspend the changes until Universal Credit is introduced in 18 months' time.

"Thousands of our members have been affected by the cuts. The Government's decision to ignore the advice of Usdaw, businesses and charities that substantial numbers of families would face severe hardship, debt and even the loss of their homes, shows how out of touch they are - both with economic reality and with the appalling hardship their policies are causing."