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9 IN 10 FAMILIES TO BE WORSE OFF BY 2015; Tory reforms to hammer households by up to PS2k a year.

Byline: STEPHEN HAYWARD consumer correspondent stephen.hayward@sundaymirror.co.uk

AN incredible nine in 10 families will be worse off under hard-hitting new tax and welfare reforms.

Damning new figures show that 23 million households will be thousands of pounds out of pocket by 2015 after the changes, which include the Government's new flagship Universal Credit scheme.

TUC analysis of the reforms reveal that only the poorest 10 per cent of households will be better off... by a measly 57p a week.

Working lone parents and single-earner families will be among the biggest losers, mainly due to cuts in family tax credits.

A lone parent with an annual income of PS24,000 stands to lose almost PS2,000, while a typical family earning PS32,500 will be PS1,598 worse off.

IMPACT

The figures are revealed before the TUC's A Future For Families rally in central London on Wednesday, a week before Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget.

The TUC, which analysed the impact of tax and benefit caps over the next two years, also examined the effect of VAT hikes and falling wages. Universal Credit will create a single payment for housing benefit, tax credits and income support.

It is the only reform to help the poorest households. But the benefit for low to middle income households won't be enough to compensate for VAT rises, let alone cuts to tax credits and welfare benefits, says the TUC.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Workers in the UK have already had the toughest squeeze in their living standards in nearly a century. Even the Government's big solution to poverty, Universal Credit, is actually leaving the vast majority of households worse off. That's why we need a new economic approach that prioritises families, jobs and growth."

'I'D BE BETTER OFF ON THE DOLE'

DAD-OF-TWO Paul Duggan, 24, earns PS20,000 a year as a supermarket warehouse worker. He and partner Zoe, 22, of Sheerness, Kent, stand to lose twice as much in benefits and tax credits as they are set to gain, and will be worse off by PS1,600 by 2015.

Paul said: "The way things are going, I'd be better off on the dole."

'I'M GOING TO LOSE PS31 A WEEK'

SINGLE mum Michelle Spink, a parttime pharmacy assistant earning PS11,000 a year, will gain just 73p a week from Universal Credit while tax and benefit changes will make her PS31 a week poorer.

Michelle, 35, of Chelmsford, Essex, who has a 14-year-old son, said: "My bills are already sky-high."

how it hits a family with children... Average annual income PS32,493 Benefits - PS464 Tax credits -PS1,305 Tax and NI changes PS178 Real wage growth -PS594 VAT increase -PS497 Universal Credit PS1,084 total change each year -PS1,598 Average annual income PS23,896 Benefits -PS277 Tax credits -PS1,087 Tax and NI changes PS266 Real wage growth -PS374 VAT increase -PS530 Universal Credit PS38 total change each year -PS1,963
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2013
Words:494
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