Women could be most affected by child benefit cuts

Labour Party say 4.6m women who receive child tax credits directly will be hit by reforms

Women will be most affected by child benefit cuts according to the Labour Party.

New figures, compiled by the Commons library for shadow equalities minister Yvette Cooper, have revealed 4.6m women who receive child tax credit directly will be affected by the austerity measures.

Out of these numbers, 2.5m are working women and over 1m look after children while their partners work.

In addition, new mothers who earn just £12,000 a year are losing £1,300 during pregnancy and the baby’s first year due to cuts to maternity pay, pregnancy support and tax credits. As well as this they are losing £422 from child benefit cuts over the same period.

The figures come as MPs prepare for a vote on the three-year one per cent rise in benefits which will take place tomorrow, as well as a row about anomalies caused by stopping child benefit for higher rate taxpayers.

Hundreds of thousands who receive child benefit and have an individual in the household earning more than £60,000 annually, will have to fill in self-assessment forms if they did not meet the deadline to notify the HMRC that they should no longer receive child benefit under the new rules.

MP Cooper said: ‘Once again women are bearing the brunt of David Cameron’s damaging policies and paying the price for this government’s economic failure. George Osborne and David Cameron came up with real cuts to tax credits as a political stunt, whilst giving millionaires a tax cut. The shocking truth is that working women are paying the price of these Tory boys’ political games.

‘Two-thirds of those hit directly by the ‘strivers tax’ are women, including over 2.5 million working mums, who are losing out from changes to the child tax credit.

‘Time and again David Cameron reveals he has a complete blind spot about women’s lives. Either he hasn’t a clue or he just doesn’t care. This cabinet’s deep prejudice against women means working women and mums at home with young children have been hardest hit every time.’

Cameron has defended his policies on withdrawing child benefit in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, saying ‘I’m not saying those people are rich, but I think it is right that they make a contribution.

‘This will raise £2bn a year. If we don’t raise that £2bn from that group of people – the better off 15 per cent in the country – we would have to find someone else to take it from.’

Are you affected by the changes? Let us know in the comments box below.

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