Tax credit cuts scrapped in government U-turn
Chancellor George Osborne has today announced that he will no longer cut tax credits in what many will see as one of the government’s first major U-turns since the election.
The news will be welcomed by those who have been campaigning against the proposed cuts which would have meant a reduction in income of up to £1,400 for many of the poorest families.
Announcing the decision, the Chancellor said, “I’ve listened to the concerns. I hear and understand them. And because I’ve been able to announce today an improvement in the public finances, the simplest thing to do is not to phase these changes in, but to avoid them altogether.”
Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, commented: “The announcement that the planned cuts to Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are to be abolished is welcome news for the many thousands of families who were worried about how they would cope with such a dramatic cut in income.
“Whilst we are still going through the fine print of the Autumn Statement, it is clear that the stark analysis of these cuts from the public, media and charities such as ourselves, has made a difference. It has shown that charities continue to play a crucial role as an independent voice, fighting to protect the most vulnerable people in society.”
“The impact of the proposed reduction to tax credits would have been dire to those struggling.
“Those on the lowest incomes are really struggling and the proposed cuts threatened to exacerbate their situation further. We’ve already heard from a number of people who were desperately worried about how they would afford the basics such as heating and food. Today’s news will ease those concerns for many.”
Winter deaths figures
Also today the Office of National Statistics released a report showing that there were nearly 44,000 ‘excess winter deaths’ last year. Turn2us has recently launched its No Cold Homes campaign to support those unable to afford to heat their homes, and found that over half of low income workers are struggling with their energy costs.
Simon Hopkins said: “Whilst today’s news regarding tax credits is positive, there is still an urgent need to let those struggling know what support is available. I would urge anyone worried about how they, or a friend or relative, are going to cope with the cost of heating their home this winter to visit turn2us.org.uk/NoColdHomes.”