Millionaires’ tax cut could help 12 million children, says UNISON

A tax cut that will net the UK’s richest almost £100,000 a year could have increased child benefit for more than 12 million children, figures from UNISON revealed today.

The union said the government’s decision to cut the 50p rate of tax would hand the 13,000 millionaires in the UK an average of £97,884.62 next year, at a cost to the Treasury of £1,272.5 million.

If this tax had been collected, it could have funded an increase to child benefit – in line with CPI inflation – for the first two children in every family, effectively helping 12,049,360 children and nearly 8 million families.

The child benefit freeze means that hard-pressed families are missing out on hundreds of pounds every year:

. A family with one child will get £114.50 a year less than they would have received if child benefit had been raised in line with CPI.

. A family with two children will get £190.09 a year less, and a family with three children is £265.66 a year worse off.

Dave Prentis, UNISON general secretary, said:

“Once again, this government’s claim that we are all in this together has been exposed as a sham, and they’ve chosen to line the pockets of millionaires while children across the UK suffer in poverty.

“The government faces a stark choice on budget day. Feather the nests of rich individuals or help families who are struggling in the recession.”

UNISON is calling on Chancellor George Osborne to help families, not millionaires, in the forthcoming Budget (20 March).