Claire Sugden MLA has expressed concern over the Chancellor’s cuts to Tax Credits.
Miss Sugden said:
“I am very concerned that 120,000 households in Northern Ireland receiving tax credits will each lose over £900 per year due to the Chancellor’s July Budget.
Low income households and unemployed parents are being squeezed by the Conservative government. Further cuts are salt in the wounds of families already struggling to maintain a basic standard of living. It is not an exaggeration that families in my constituency and across Northern Ireland will make decisions this winter between feeding themselves and keeping warm.
When the National Minimum Wage increases from next April, working parents receiving tax credits will face further decreases in their income with probable increases in childcare costs. The UK government sold welfare reform as a solution encouraging more people back to work. The Chancellor’s summer Budget will actually discourage parents going to work because, for many, it will not be worth it.
Unfortunately tax credit decisions are taken by Westminster and are the harsh consequences of a Conservative government at the beginning of five years in power. The Northern Ireland government can ease the burden by taking positive steps on childcare costs and effectively implementing the welfare mitigation package as agreed in the Stormont House Agreement. This will only happen if the political parties see past themselves through the current impasse and focus to prioritise the people of Northern Ireland.”