Families will be hit hardest by cuts

Family households in Lincoln may be one of the hardest hit due to the recent Government Spending Review.

According the The Family and Parenting Institute, families of the 790,000 babies born per year will be losing £775.3 billion per year due to cuts—£981 per baby.

The research comes after changes to pregnancy and child benefits and the VAT rise to 20%, making everyday items such as clothing, food and bills more expensive.

The £250 Child Trust Fund, the baby element of Child Tax Credits and £190 Health in Pregnancy Grant will be scrapped, while restrictions on the Sure Start Maternity Grant will be put in place.

The amount of hours needed to claim Working Tax Credits is also on the rise, and will affect families with parents currently looking for work or in a part-time job.

The biggest strain will be on those with large families on low income and single parent families, who stand to lose £3,810 per year.

Tightening purse strings

Kelly Wythe from Newark Road, Lincoln, is a single mother to three children under five, and is pregnant with her fourth. She is currently training to be a midwife.

She says that although the cuts will affect her family, she will just have to watch the family’s outgoings more.

“I just met the closing date for the Grants so I will get those, but I won’t be entitled to the Trust Fund and obviously the Child Tax Credits.

“I guess I will just have to survive somehow. Thankfully I buy the children’s clothes in advance and then store them, or use websites such as eBay.

“I’ll just have to cut back on my own luxuries and food to get by.”

Chief Executive of The Family and Parenting Institute Dr Katherine Rake said: “Families are being asked to absorb much of the pain of the changes to UK tax and benefits.

“This is in addition to family finances taking a hit from the VAT rise, the widely predicted increases in mortgage payments, rising inflation, and increases in food, fuel, clothing and energy bills.

“The government must demonstrate an understanding of how these changes affect families of different types.

“Beyond this, the Coalition needs to wed these changes to a future vision for families.

“The Prime Minister has said he wants to make the UK the most family friendly society in Europe. This is a laudable ambition.

“Now his government must explain how this will be delivered in an age of austerity.”

Read The Family and Parenting Institute’s research paper [PDF] | Photo: Ryan