Chancellor 'gives with one hand, takes with the other' says church group

By staff writers
July 8, 2015

Chancellor Osborne has been "giving with one hand, taking with the other" says ecumenical charity Church Action on Poverty (CAP) following today's budget.

"Further cuts to tax credits and other benefits will cause real hardship for thousands of people," said CAP's Niall Cooper in a post-budget comment.

He continued: "These are the very people who have already shouldered the burden of austerity over the last five years, in the form of insecure work, stagnant pay, slashed benefits, and huge rises in the cost of everyday essentials – they can ill afford to see their incomes cut still further. George Osborne may claim to be “fixing the roof while the sun shines”, but there are a lot of people who haven’t seen any of that sunshine yet!"

Mr Cooper went on: "The increase in the National Minimum Wage is welcome, but George Osborne’s claim that he has introduced a Living Wage is not true. (A real Living Wage would be at least £7.85 an hour – and £9.15 in London). And the Chancellor claims he wants to 'put hard-working people first', but he is giving money with one hand and taking it away with the other, with swingeing cuts to Tax Credits. Families in work will be left still struggling to bring up children on poverty wages.

"Even worse, the Chancellor is simultaneously cutting inheritance tax (giving a tax handuot of £70,000 each to families wealthy enough to inherit £1 million) and corporation tax (a further 10 per cent cut, when UK corporation tax is already lower than every other country in the G20). This is a reverse Robin Hood budget, taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich," he concluded.

* Church Action on Poverty: http://church-poverty.org.uk/

* Full 2015 budget coverage and commentary from Ekklesia at: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/budget2015

[Ekk/3]

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