The government has got it wrong over tax credits, says UNISON

Commenting on remarks made by the Prime Minister over the weekend and by the Chancellor today (Monday) at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said:

“The government is on the back foot over tax credits and ministers know it. They keep saying that families will be better off, but figures published by the House of Commons Library, and a host of other organisations, tell a very different story.

“The reality is that the incomes of almost three million working households will take a huge hit next April as the tax credits they rely on to get through each month are taken away.

“Many may get a pay rise from the government’s ‘national living wage’, but will end up losing more than they gain in the tax credits grab. And families on slightly higher, but still very low incomes, will lose out significantly.

“The loss of as much as £50 a week could push many households that are already surviving on a shoestring, deeper and deeper into debt.

“The government should either come clean and admit that many working households across the UK will be worse off, or publish the details behind its claims and prove everyone else wrong.”

Notes to editors:

At the weekend, UNISON published research – using official figures published by HM Revenue & Customs – that showed that government cuts to tax credits will leave more than 2.7 million low to middle income working families across the UK (and their 5.2 million children) significantly worse off. Two in five of all working families with dependent children could lose as much as £3,000 a year next April.

With many UNISON members – for example, teaching assistants, hospital cleaners, home care workers, healthcare assistants, nurses, PCSOs and street cleaners – set to be affected by the changes, the union has developed an online calculator so people can work out how the tax credit changes are likely to affect them and their families.

UNISON has also produced a map showing the numbers of families that will be affected across the UK. By clicking on each constituency people can see whether their local MP voted for or against the cuts to tax credits. UNISON is urging people whose MP voted for the cuts to write to them explaining why the changes will be so damaging.

UNISON media contacts:

Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: