MY Ilford Recorder Column on 19 April 2012

Last year VAT and other tax increases cost a family with children an average £450. This year families on middle and low incomes with children will lose an average £511 from changes to tax, benefits and tax credits introduced this month.  4700 Ilford families - 2795 in Ilford South and 1925 in Ilford North lose all their Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit .  2700 Ilford families on modest and middle incomes lose all their Child Tax Credit – worth around £545 per year.  2000 working Ilford couples earning less than £17,000  lose all their Working Tax Credit – worth up to £3,870 per year – if they cannot increase their working hours. In these difficult times many cannot.   A couple with two children on the minimum wage will be better off quitting their jobs if they cannot work at least 19 hours per week.  The independent Institute of Fiscal Studies also says pensioners will be on average £315 a year worse off from April 2014 once cuts to their allowances announced in last month’s Budget – what has been dubbed the 'granny tax' – have kicked in.   The Conservative/Liberal Democrat government  are taking away with one hand  much more than they are giving with increased personal allowances with the other hand. There do need to be tough decisions on tax, spending and pay but why are people earning over £150,000 getting a £3 billion tax cut while parents on middle and modest incomes in Ilford are being clobbered?  Why should hundreds of  thousands of families and pensioners pay more so millionaires can pay less tax– over £40,000 a year less in the case of the 14,000 richest people in the country.?   Chancellor George Osborne once boasted “we are all in this together”. His recent budget has exposed this as nothing more than an empty hollow phrase.

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