Abandon tax credit reforms says charity

Chancellor Of The Exchequer George Osborne (right) and Prime Minister David Cameron speak to business leaders at the AQL centre in Leeds
Chancellor Of The Exchequer George Osborne (right) and Prime Minister David Cameron speak to business leaders at the AQL centre in Leeds
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THOUSANDS of Wigan children could feel the brunt of tax credit cuts if the controversial reforms go ahead, according to a children’s charity.

Last month the House of Lords - including council leader Lord Smith - voted to delay the Welfare Bill as the chancellor revises his plans.

Research released by the Children’s Society today claims 23,600 borough children are living in families affected by the cuts, part of 239,500 across Greater Manchester and more than half a million across the North West.

Leading chief executive Matthew Reed to call on the Government to abandon the cuts in a pre-Christimas pledge.

He said: “Children will be the biggest losers if these deeply unfair cuts to working households go ahead.

“Parents would no doubt do what they could to shield their children from the impact.

“But the reality is that tax credits are vital for poorer families who work long hours to provide the basics for their children.

“Cutting their income in this way, by more than £1,000 a year in many cases, would risk pushing more children into poverty, as well as undermining incentives to move into work or earn more.

“We urge the Government to do the right thing and abandon its planned cuts at the earliest opportunity.”

The historic Lords vote pushed chancellor George Osborne into redrafting the plans to soften the impact on affected families.

But the Government is defiant that the cuts will be implemented in some shape of form despite opposition in the Lords.

Speaking last month after the knockback in the Lords, Mr Osborne said: “It comes down to a very simple judgment, which is do you think our welfare system is too expensive?

“Do you think we should move to a higher wage, lower welfare economy and ultimately that’s the decision we are all being asked to take as Members of Parliament.”

Also speaking last month, ahead of the Lords vote, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said: “Thousands of working families across Wigan will get a massive pay cut if the Government presses ahead with these plans.

“It’s fundamentally wrong to expect millions of people to go to work every week and come home without enough money to live on.”

Mr Osborne will submit his revised plans as part of his spending review due to be unveiled next week.