The Dundee Messenger

Families in Angus and Dundee City could be left struggling if tax credit axe goes ahead, charity warns

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44.9% of families in Angus and 62.1% families in Dundee City could be left struggling if plans to cut working tax credits

44.9% of families in Angus and 62.1% families in Dundee City could be left struggling if plans to cut working tax credits go ahead, Barnardo’s Scotland warns, as it launches a campaign calling on the UK Government to keep the ‘lifeline’ benefit.

Barnardo’s Scotland is urging politicians not to cut tax credits, following signals from the UK Government that it will reduce, with some families possibly losing the benefit completely, these benefits as part of a plan to axe £12bn from the welfare bill.

It has been widely reported that the UK Government is proposing to cut these vital benefits in this week’s budget. The charity has calculated that 49.1 per cent of families in Angus and Dundee City 16,000 currently use working tax credits to top up low incomes, helping them buy essentials such as food and clothing for their family.

The charity is campaigning to halt plans to change tax credits. It says the UK Government should instead focus on tackling the low wages and high living costs that drive hardship amongst families. It is asking people in Scotland to email their MP with this message - to support the campaign visit www.barnardos.org.uk

Head of Policy for Barnardo’s Scotland, Mark Ballard, said: “The UK Government has promised to improve support for working families so that parents do not have to choose between feeding their families and heating their homes.

“Unfortunately, the reality is increasing numbers of working parents are struggling to stay above the breadline, and any proposed cuts to the benefits they rely on will only make things worse. Low paid parents with dependent children rely on tax credits to make up the difference between what they earn and what they need to get by”.

The most recent data for Scotland shows that 55 per cent of children in severe poverty lived in working households and 39 per cent lived in households with at least one adult in full-time employment

Figures show that more than half of children in nine local authorities in Scotland live in families in receipt of tax credits. Over 44% of children in Dundee City are reliant on this vital benefit. Unsurprisingly the areas with the highest number of children in families in receipt of tax credits are those with higher levels of deprivation and low income.

Mark Ballard adds:“Families would be better off if the UK Government focused on tackling low wages and high childcare costs, instead of cutting struggling families income.”

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