9,000 families in the North East have been left in a hugely difficult situation - McKinnell

Catherine McKinnellLabour has today step up the pressure on the Chancellor to come up with a plan for jobs and growth in next month’s Budget and reconsider changes to tax credits and child benefit which will cost families with children up to £4,000 per year. 

Labour called on the Conservative-led government to cancel changes coming into force in April that will see up to 200,000 working parents lose almost £4,000 in working tax credits.  According to the government’s own figures, a couple with children on the minimum wage working 16 hours a week will end up being £728 per year better off out of work if they cannot increase their working hours to 24 hours per week when new rules on working tax credits come into force in April.

In the North East, over 9,000 households currently benefit from Working Tax Credit and work between 16 and 24 hours a week. Over 19,000 children live in households which are affected by the change in eligibility rules.

In Cumbria over 1,240 will be affected by the change.  

Catherine McKinnell MP, Labour MP for Newcastle North said: 

“The Government needs to think again about these unfair changes. Over 9,000 families in the North East have been left in a hugely difficult situation faced with increasing their working hours or losing their Working Tax Credits. 

"These are parents who are doing the right thing and working to support their families and yet the Government is targeting them. Given the state of the job market in the region many of these families will struggle to get the extra hours they need. These changes will actually mean some of these families will be better off on the dole than working. 

"This Government is completely out of touch with what the reality of what is happening in our region. Instead of hitting hard-pressed families the government should reverse these changes and instead bring in measures to crack down on stamp-duty avoidance on properties over a million which is costing the Treasury hundreds of millions of pounds."