Tax credits debate rages on in Woking

ALTHOUGH the House of Lords voted to delay controversial plans to make £4.4 billion cuts in tax credits last week, it looks as if it is merely a temporary reprieve, meaning around 3,500 Woking families will lose out, according to the local Liberal Democrat contingent.

Figures from the House of Commons Library show that more than three million low-income homes currently in receipt of tax credits will see their entitlement reduced.

The widely criticised reform will see the borough’s average family lose £1,000 a year.

A statement from the Lib Dems said: “Despite claims that those affected will benefit from plans to increase the minimum wage, the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has said the Conservatives’ figures do not stack up.

“The analysis shows that a £1,000 average loss will be offset by only £200 as a result of the new minimum wage.”

The Treasury is currently revising its proposals, with PM David Cameron saying: “What I can guarantee is that we remain committed to the vision of a high-pay, low-tax, lower-welfare economy.

“We believe that the way to ensure everyone is better off is to keep growing our economy, keep inflation low, keep cutting people’s taxes and introduce the national living wage.”

But Lib Dems in Parliament say the move undermines the work of the Coalition Government, which made sure it always pays more to be in work than on benefits.

Lib Dem Leader on Woking Borough Council, Councillor Will Forster, said that the changes will hammer families in Woking.

He added: “The move completely undermines any claim the Tories have of being on the side of working families. What makes it worse is that 5,800 children in our area will now be under threat of having to live in poorer households, reducing their life chances and making it harder for their parents to make ends meet.

“Study after study has shown that the Conservatives’ claim of supporting low-income families through a minimum wage increase nowhere near makes up for these cuts. It is time to come clean and be honest with those doing the right thing and going out to work.

“I am pleased that Lib Dems are opposing this measure. We worked hard in Coalition to ensure that work would always pay more than choosing to remain on benefits.

“It is a disgrace that the Tories are now undermining this good work.”

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