21 Mar 2012

'This budget has fallen a long way short of putting vital pounds into the pockets of low-income families. Instead of producing a roadmap to meet its commitment to end child poverty by 2020, the Chancellor is considering slashing a further £10 billion from the welfare budget.

'Coming on top of cuts being introduced this year and next, this will make the future for some of this country’s poorest families even bleaker.

'Raising the personal income tax allowance may appear to help those in greatest need but the reality is that cuts elsewhere will still leave many of the poorest families struggling to put food on the table, pay for a day out together or buy new clothes. The basic essentials are slipping further out of reach of more and more people. The government has missed an opportunity to help reverse this slide.

'If the Chancellor wants to support low-income families, he should have invested money in the Universal Credit. Helping them with their increasing childcare costs would have gone a long way to making work pay.'

The table below illustrates why some of the lowest income families will see little benefit from the personal allowance tax changes:

Household type

Overall benefit (pa)

Reason

Family earning below £8105

£0

No benefit when earning below 2012-13 personal allowance level

 

Family earning £10,000 and in receipt of HB/CTB

£33

Keep only 15% of the £220 gain as a result of increase in personal allowance

 

Family earning £35,000 and income too high for HB/CTB

£220

Receive full value of the personal allowance increase (worth 20% of personal allowance increase)

 

Ends

Media enquiries

For more information, please call David Dinnage in The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422, or email david.dinnage@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508. Alternatively please call the general media team number on 0207 841 4422.

Notes to editors

Children and families currently need more money in the face of fuel and food price rises over the last year. Family incomes will be further hit by:

  • freezes in Child Benefit and Working Tax Credit,
  • the reversal of the government’s promise to increase Child Tax Credits above inflation
  • the removal of Working Tax Credit from couples with children working between 16 and 23 hours per week

The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.