FAMILIES HIT WITH £2.3bn CUTS!

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A section of Saturday’s Demonstration in Norwich against the ‘Bedroom Tax’ – see story page 3
A section of Saturday’s Demonstration in Norwich against the ‘Bedroom Tax’ – see story page 3

LOW income households will have their family finances hit by multiple cuts this month totalling £2.3bn.

Almost half of this amount will be provided by the Bedroom Tax (£490m) and the devolved Council budgets being cut by 10% (£483m).

Local housing allowance annual uprate at CPI (instead of RPI) will cut £90m.

The Benefit Cap introduced will cut £290m.

Tax credit disregard for in-year increases reduced to £5,000 will cut £455m.

Working age benefits and tax credits uprating capped at 1% will provide the Exchequer with £505m.

This makes a total loss to low-income families of £2.315bn.

This £2.3 billion figure represents how much is cut from support for low income households compared to last year (2012/13).

However, households have already faced significant cuts since 2010/11.

So in 2013/14 the government will be spending £16.5 billion less on social security and tax credits than it was in 2010/11.

The majority of these cuts impact on the finances of low income families.

Although the government is further raising the personal tax allowance in April, this mainly benefits better off workers and does very little to benefit low income households.

The working poor generally rely on housing benefit and council tax benefit, so they get 85% of the gain from the raising of the tax allowance taken away again because of tapers that mean their benefit is withdrawn as their income rises.

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said: ‘Families already struggling with rising living costs face another body blow as a potentially devastating package of benefit cuts is introduced this month which will grab desperately needed financial help away from families and suck billions of pounds of spending power out of local businesses and communities.’