Tax credits and benefits - Ed Balls words at Treasury Questions

11 December 2012

ed ballsEd Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, speaking at Treasury Questions about the Government’s real terms cuts to tax credits and benefits, said:

“In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced a real term cut in tax credits and benefits over the next three years, and the Government says it will ask the House to vote on this.

“So could the Chancellor today tell the House the answer to two questions? First what percentage of families hit by these cuts to tax credits and benefits are in work? And as a result of the Autumn Statement tax and benefit changes, including the change to the personal allowance will the average one earner couple in work with children be better off or worse off, Mr Speaker?”
He added:
“It is important members on both sides of the House know the answer to the questions…first of all 60 per cent of families hit by the tax and benefit changes are in work. And, according to the IFS, as a result of the Autumn Statement measures a working family - the average one earner couple - will be £534 a year worse off by 2015. A working family worse off. These are the very families who pull up the blinds and go to work, and on average every Tory constituency has over 6,000 of these families who will lose out.

“We will look at the legislation but if he intends to go ahead with such an unfair hit on middle and lower income working families while he is giving a £3 billion top rate tax cut we will oppose it. Why is he making striving working families pay the price for his economic failure?”