Costs of tax credit changes

Usdaw, the union for shopworkers, is campaigning against the changes to tax credits that will take nearly £4,000 from low income families with children next month.

The government is demanding that over 200,000 couples with children increase their hours of work from at least 16 hours a week to 24 hours between them, or they will lose all of their working tax credit, worth over 20 per cent of their income.

At another time, this would not have been unreasonable, but when unemployment is over 2.5 million and many employers are cutting back on costs, it is impossible for many families to increase their hours of work.

The Government has claimed that extra hours are available for anyone who wants them, but their own figures show they expect 125,000 families to lose around £4,000 and nearly 300,000 children to go into poverty as a result.

If you are worried about how the changes to tax credits will affect you, ring the tax credit helpline on 0845 300 3900.

If you are affected, there is advice on Usdaw’s website www.usdaw.org.uk/385 about the changes and any support you can claim.

And if you disagree with these changes that will hit some of the poorest working families so hard, please contact your MP immediately and ask them to call on the Chancellor to use his Budget to cancel them.

John Hannett

General Secretary of Usdaw