What the Autumn Statement means for families
Filed under: News
Charities warn that the news will come as blow to many British families.
Autumn Statement 2012
Beyond the headline grabbing moves to bolster business and investment, the Autumn Statement has done little to help families and charities are concerned that the Chancellor's latest moves will in fact push many families further towards poverty.
Today the chancellor announced that welfare payments will rise more slowly than forecast, saving £3.7bn by 2015/16 for the public coffers.
Child benefit is frozen until April 2014, and it will rise at just 1% a year after that. The Universal Credit, which starts next October will also be uprated at just 1%. This compares to the forecast inflation rare of 2.2%.
Helen Dent, chief executive of Family Action said: "The Chancellor hasn't done enough to stem the lines of families at food banks, he hasn't done enough to protect vital services that families need, he hasn't done enough to make work pay and ensure children with parents in and out of work are not pushed further into poverty. He hasn't done enough to help families build a stable home."
As the chancellor's move covers all working-age benefits – not just out-of-work benefits – many working people are set to lose out.
Gillian Guy, chief executive at national charity Citizens Advice said: "The government can't keep hitting the same people over and over again. Let's not forget, below inflation benefit increases will not just hit people who are out of work. It will also hurt working families in low paid jobs who have already been hit by wage freezes and cuts in working hours.
"People on basic benefits and looking for work already have to survive on just £10 a day, less if they're under 25. Many thousands of people already battered by the impact of the recession are on a financial cliff edge."
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