So, the election is over and it’s time to get back to running the country. Of course, the priority should be to help those in work but instead of doing that the Tories have hit working people in the pocket, reducing the tax credits millions rely on.
The Tory Government is pulling the old trick of giving with one hand but taking away a lot more with the other. Yes, people might get an increase in the current minimum wage, but even taking that into account they’re going to be hundreds of pounds a year worse off as a result of the tax credit changes.
In Crawley over 5000 working families with children claim tax credit. That’s half of the families in the borough that receive this vital support. A couple in full-time work on the minimum wage with two children will be nearly £700 worse off a year from these cuts to tax credits.
We cannot underestimate how important tax credits have been to many people on middle and lower incomes in Crawley, and to cut them will severely reduce their quality of life. 10,000 children in Crawley are going to be worse off because of this Government cut.
How is that helping local families? It clearly isn’t. And it won’t help at all any of the under 25s who are excluded completely from this newly announced increase to the minimum wage.
I was delighted when the previous Labour government introduced tax credits because not only did it provide much needed support to working families, but it gave benefit claimants support to move into work. We were very clear we wanted to “Make Work Pay”.
This should have been a Budget about the economic good. It should have been about boosting the local economy, not cutting people’s disposable incomes.
It is heartbreaking that despite promising not to just weeks before the election, the Tories have done this. While taking this money away from working families, the savings made are being given away in a corporation tax cut, a vast chunk of which will go to multinational companies that can easily afford to pay current rates.
I think this one decision that is going to come back to haunt the Tories. This is one unfair cut too far and people will notice it.
Cllr Michael Jones