The Green Party has attacked proposed plans to cut child tax credits, which is currently being considered by allies of the Chancellor, George Osborne. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) proposal, to return tax credits to 2003/4 levels and save £5bn. The Greens say this would mean a reduction of £845 per child per year for the poorest families in the United Kingdom.
Samantha Pancheri, the Green Party’s Spokesperson for Schools, said: "These proposed plans are a new and unacceptable step in the government’s attack on lower-income families. During the election campaign, the Chancellor was worryingly vague about his plans to cut £12 billion from the welfare bill, and now we see why: the cuts will, as many feared, fall on those who can ill afford them. Claims that these changes would encourage parents into work are an illustration of the economic illiteracy of this government: these changes to tax credits would see families’ entitlement to tax credits running out at a lower income threshold. Far from the government’s promise to reward ‘hard-working families’, these proposals are fundamentally an attack on those in work."
Continuing Ms Pancheri commented: "Savage welfare reforms implemented by the previous government have already seen child poverty soaring to 4 in 10 children in some areas, with escalating numbers of teachers reporting that they bring in food themselves to give to the hungry children who come into school. There is an abundance of evidence highlighting the link between poverty and poor educational outcomes, increasing the likelihood of today's children being the next generation of impoverished working adults."
"As the Government continues to push the burden of austerity onto people least able to bear it, we must all start asking how many generations of soaring inequality we will tolerate before the Government accepts that austerity has failed, and that the wellbeing of everyone in our society must become the highest priority." Samantha Pancheri added.