Updated: Wed, 02 May 2012 11:18:16 GMT | By pa.press.net

Union hits out at tax credit cuts

More than 200,000 couples have lost up to £73 a week because of cuts to tax credits, "plunging" them into poverty, a union has claimed.


Usdaw has slammed the Government over the cutting over tax credits

Usdaw has slammed the Government over the cutting over tax credits

More than 200,000 couples have lost up to £73 a week because of cuts to tax credits, "plunging" them into poverty, a union has claimed.

Usdaw said that from last month couples with children had to increase their working hours to at least 24 hours a week or lose all their Working Tax Credit, worth up to £3,870 a year.

Official figures showed there were 203,000 couples, with 449,000 children, who were working between 16 and 24 hours a week when the new system came in.

These families will have lost all of their Working Tax Credit from April 6 unless they fulfilled a small number of exemptions for disability or caring, likely to affect fewer than 10,000 couples, said Usdaw.

General secretary John Hannett said: "The Government defended its shameful attack on working couples trying to do the right thing by insisting they would be able to get extra of hours of work. The Government's own figures released today blow that claim out of the water.

"If they have an ounce of decency or concern for real people then ministers should accept that they have got this wrong and should immediately suspend the changes until Universal Credit is introduced in 18 months' time.

"Thousands of our members have been affected by the cuts. The Government's decision to ignore the advice of Usdaw, businesses and charities that substantial numbers of families would face severe hardship, debt and even the loss of their homes, shows how out of touch they are - both with economic reality and with the appalling hardship their policies are causing."

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