Cuts to tax credits and benefits will push 200,000 children into poverty, Ministers admit - Ed Balls & Liam Byrne

17 January 2013

ed balls200,000 children will be pushed into poverty as a result of David Cameron and George Osborne’s real terms cuts to tax credits and other working-age benefits, according to official government figures.

In an answer to a parliamentary question, work and pensions minister has Esther McVey admits that the Tory-led Government has estimated that “the uprating measures in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 will result in around an extra 200,000 children being deemed by this measure to be in relative income poverty compared to uprating benefits by CPI”.

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:

“The true character of this Conservative-led Government has now been exposed. While they give the richest two per cent of earners a £3 billion tax cut, 200,000 children will be pushed into poverty and millions of working families made worse off.

“Ministers have spent weeks refusing to admit what the impact of their policies would be on child poverty and now we know why. Children are paying the price for David Cameron and George Osborne’s economic failure and the political games they have decided to play.

“We need action to kickstart the economy and help people into work with a compulsory jobs guarantee, not this unfair and divisive attack on working families and children.”

Liam Byrne, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:

“We already knew the Strivers’ Tax will hit millions of hardworking families but now we know that 200,000 children will pay the price for the mess David Cameron and George Osborne have made of our economy, whilst 8,000 millionaires get a tax cut.

“George Osborne is playing politics with his Strivers’ Tax Bill because he desperately needs a distraction from his own failure. But the Chancellor’s pathetic little games have real consequences for millions of families struggling to make ends meet.

“10 years of Tory Party detoxification has been destroyed because the Chancellor needed a New Year dividing line and Britain’s poorest children are paying the price. The nasty party is well and truly back.”