This blog first appeared on the New Statesman on 7th December 2015.
Now you see it… Now you don’t. The government’s rustled up a party trick for the kids this Christmas. They’re going to make 3.7 million of them disappear.
Today the Lords vote on government policies to cut tax credits, the extra support people on low wages receive to ‘top up’ their incomes. With over two thirds of children growing up in poverty living in a working family, tax credits are a vital tool to help families make ends meet. Many independent experts have already pointed out the impact these cuts will have on families: £4.4 billion will be taken from low-paid families next year alone, an average of £1350 per family.
With conference ‘fun’ over, it’s back to business as usual and the relentless march of the benefit cap. With parliament returning this week, today work will continue on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. And, chief amongst our concerns with the measures proposed in the bill, include the impact on children of lowering the level of the benefit cap and how to prevent its most harmful effects.