Jon Cruddas has described proposed cuts in working tax credits as “inexcusable and unacceptable”

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce £1.6 billion of cuts to working tax credits in next week’s budget, a move which has drawn stinging criticism both nationally and locally. Its critics have this week claimed that it will hit already hard pressed families in Barking and Dagenham, and could create disincentives to work.

The changes to working tax credits will mean that couples with children earning less than around £17,700 will need to increase the number of hours they work from a minimum of 16 to 24 hours per week or they will lose all their working tax credit of £3,870 per year. Government figures reveal that as many as 212,000 households could lose out, including nearly 500,000 children.

Within the constituency of Dagenham and Rainham alone there will be over 400 households affected by the changes, with around 885 children in danger of losing out.

The Citizens Advice Bureau has warned that the proposed policy may work against the Government’s wider agenda of trying to get more people into work. A spokesman said; “It will force people who are desperately keen to keep a foothold in the workplace to leave, and make it harder to get back into work when the job situation improves.”

Local MP Jon Cruddas has added his voice to the debate, calling on the Government to re-think the proposed cut. He said; “The plans to cut working tax credits for hard working families simply do not make sense.

“This Tory led Coalition Government is hurting the people who are trying their hardest to do the right thing. They have been forced to admit this week that some families with children could end being £728 per year better off out of work when the new rules come into place.

“This legislation will hurt ordinary families in Dagenham and Rainham, and could plunge nearly 900 children into poverty. That is inexcusable and unacceptable.”