‘Tax Credit Cut is an attack on working families’ – Ritchie

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Monday, September 28th, 2015
SDLP MP for South Down, Margaret Ritchie, has criticised the Conservative Government’s move to cut working tax credit and child tax credit as an attack on working, low-income families. Margaret RitchieShe was speaking after the SDLP voted against the measures that will see many families lose an average of £1000 a year. Ritchie said, “Tax credits are a vital source of income that thousands and thousands of families rely upon to heat their homes and feed their children. The SDLP voted against these punitive measures that will take money out of the pockets of hard-pressed and low-income families. “Speaking as a former Social Development Minister, I had, and still have, a lot of contact with families who rely heavily on tax credits for their financial stability. Cutting their tax credits will have serious implications for their financial situation and their physical and mental health. “A quarter of children in Northern Ireland live in child poverty: a figure that can only rise with the implementation of cuts. With fuel poverty already on the rise, we will have more children living in damp homes, with parents fearful whether or not they will be able to feed and clothe them. Ritchie added, “These attacks on low income families will, at the other end of the scale, also affect our wider economy. Taking money out of families’ pockets, reducing their purchasing power, will drain money from our economy and plunge low-income workers and their children deeper into poverty.”
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