Outrage as tax credits cut for thousands

Katy Million with her son Alex
Katy Million with her son Alex

SINGLE mum Katy Million stands to lose hundreds of pounds a year in the Government’s new tax credits fiasco.

She is one of almost 15,000 hard-working families in Hartlepool and East Durham who will lose out after MPs voted in changes to the tax credit system.

The Government wants to cap benefit rises to just one per cent until 2016 which will ensure hand-outs do not rise in line with inflation as part of a clamp down on jobless benefit “scroungers”.

But at the same time the move will spell misery for decent people who work hard for their cash in Hartlepool and East Durham by putting them under further financial strain.

The proposals, which form part of the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, have been voted for in the House of Commons.

Today, Hartlepool MP Iain Wright said the move will affect 7,500 families in the town and a nurse earning around £530 a week with two children will lose £424 a year by 2015.

Easington MP Grahame Morris said it will hit more than 7,000 people in his constituency and called for the Government to implement a living wage.

Hartlepool woman Katy Million, 31, from Greatham, is a single mum to three-year-old son Alex and works as a team member at KFC.

She receives working tax credit and child tax credit, and said: “I get that we are in a recession and the Government has to save money somewhere, but it is always the people at the bottom who get it in the neck. It is ridiculous.

“Life is hard enough and the cost of living is going up.

“This might not seem like much to them, but it is to us. I live hand to mouth, I work part-time and I do everything I can while still spending time with my little boy.

“In the past, I worked hard and had my own business and was earning £30,000 or £40,000 a year, but I can’t do that while I have got a three-year-old.”

Mr Wright told the Mail: “The majority of the people this will effect are people doing the right thing trying to provide for their families and they are struggling day to day already. They are working really hard for what they get.

“This will hurt 7,500 families in Hartlepool, that’s a massive chunk of the town, it’s disgusting. It will have a knock-on effect in the amount of money being spent in Hartlepool as well, also damaging the economy.”

Mr Morris called for the Government to implement a living wage, and support a real jobs guarantee to help the long term unemployed return to work.

He said: “Working Tax Credits help over 7,000 families in Easington, the people the Government claim they want to support – those who get up and go to work day in day out.

“If the Government want to help working families and reduce the welfare bill, they should be implementing a living wage and stop subsidising multi-million pound corporations paying poverty wages.

“This would lead to fewer people needing to access the tax credit system, as they would earn a decent living, and this would truly make work pay.”