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6,400 working families in Enfield North to be hit by cuts to tax credits

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6,400 working families in Enfield North – including 12,400 children - will be made worse off following the announcement by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to slash tax credits in this week’s Budget.

From April 2016, tax credits will be frozen for four years and the income threshold for the state benefit – introduced by the last Labour Government to provide extra income to workers on lower salaries – will be reduced from £6,420 to £3,850. This will mean anyone earning more than £3,850 a year will see their working tax credit reduced at a higher rate.

The Conservative Government’s pledge to introduce a new National Living Wage – which will start at £7.20 per hour in 2016 and rise to £9ph by 2020 – will have no positive impact on many low paid workers, given the cuts that are planned. The current Living Wage in London is £9.15ph, so what is being offered by the Conservatives is not a Living Wage in Enfield nor across the capital.

In response to George Osborne’s changes to tax credits Chris Leslie, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said “[they] are nothing more than a work penalty to hit three million families. Similarly, his so-called living wage is unravelling as it becomes clear it is nothing of the sort. It is just an increase in the minimum wage – created by Labour – which with tax credit changes penalises families. A couple in full-time work on the minimum wage with two children may gain £1,560 in salary, but they will lose over £2,200 from cuts to tax credits.”

 Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP, Labour’s Member of Parliament for Enfield North, said:

“This week we have seen the real consequences of having a Conservative Government – working people will be left worse off.

We need to bring down the deficit and make savings to the welfare budget. I am in favour of welfare reform but it must be based on fairness. It is not right that thousands of families in Enfield North and millions more across the country are going to be penalised.

Since 2010 many working people have suffered from stagnant wages and rising housing costs and energy bills, yet George Osborne's Budget is going to make life harder still for some of the lowest paid over the next five years.”

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