UK 2013 budget can’t save poor children

British Chancellor George Osborne’s policies on personal tax allowance will do almost nothing for poor children in the country who are going to be hit by the government’s squeeze on tax credits and benefits, a charity warns.

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) warned that the 2013 budget, delivered by Osborne yesterday, has failed to change the fact that 600,000 more children will be dragged into poverty during the coalition’s time in office.

“The chancellor described it as a budget for families, with children, looking to work hard and aspiring to get on,” said Alison Garnham, chief executive of the charity group.

“But most low-income families have very few reasons to be cheerful and plenty to be fearful.”

She also argued that the Chancellor’s plans for raising personal tax allowance, from £8,105 to £9,440 next month and to £10,000 from April 2014 will do almost nothing for the parents on the lowest incomes.

“Some don’t pay tax anyway, while others keep just 15 percent in every extra £1 because their in-work benefits like housing benefit get withdrawn,” she said.

Earlier in March, Britain’s largest unions body the Trades Unions Congress (TUC) announced that over half a million more British children will be pushed “below the breadline” in the next two years as a result of the government’s welfare cuts, tax rises and wage freezes.