Child Benefit Changes To Hit Thousands In Wales

Thousands of families across Wales will be hit by changes to Child Benefits that are set to take effect in jut twenty months. From January 2013 Child benefit will be withdrawn from families with a higher rate taxpayer.

Peter Hain MP for Neath and Shadow Secretary of State for Wales has described the changes as “unfair” as a loophole will see families of two earners with a combined income of £80,000 receive the benefit but a single earner family on £44,000 lose it.

Official figures from the House of Commons Library say that approximately 37,500 families in Wales will be affected by the changes with an average loss per affected household in Wales of £1,623 per annum, though the actual figure will depend on the number of eligible children in the Household. The clawback would deliver savings of around £61 million in 2013-14, £62 million in 2014-15, and £63 million in 2015-16.

Peter Hain said, “This is another ideological Tory cut attacking families. The callous way they have chosen to introduce the changes will see a lone parent or single earner couples earning just above the higher rate threshold, currently £43,875, lose their child benefit, while dual earner couples both earning just under the threshold would continue to receive it.

“This is a shameful attack on hard working families in Wales, who are being forced to bear the brunt of the government cuts.”

Single parents over the threshold will be particularly badly affected as they would have to pay for childcare out of their reduced income, whilst those who have a parent at home would not have this problem.

There are 9,195 families in Neath in receipt of Child Benefits.

Local women to bear brunt of Government Cuts

The Tory-Lib Dem cuts are disproportionally affecting women In Neath and surrounding Valleys as they are asked to bear more than seventy percent of the cuts. Shadow Secretary of State for Wales and Neath MP has called the figures “damaging for the progress of the next generation of women.”

Independent research shows men on average will lose £4.20 a week, but women on average will lose £8.80 a week – despite the fact that women still earn less than men. Cuts to child tax credit, childcare tax credit, child benefit all hit mothers hardest. This combined with lower public sector, Carers Allowance payments, cuts to housing benefit and the rise in VAT, this Tory Government propped up by the Lib Dems is just throwing more hurdles in the way of women.

“Women play a vital role in the workplace and at home.” Said Mr Hain “Women have already achieved so much, there is still so much to do but this unfair attack will, I fear, not only halt the progress already made but set it back years. It is likely that their life chances and independence will suffer because of this government’s assault on women and families.”