Budget: Chancellor urged to avoid 'break-up' measures

People on swings Families are deeply anxious about the government's austerity measures says a charity

A family charity has appealed to the chancellor to avoid delivering what it calls a "break-up Budget" on Wednesday.

The Family and Parenting Institute (FPI) urges George Osborne to protect families in his 2012 Budget.

The charity says money worries can lead to divorce and that families with children have been hardest hit by recent tax and benefit changes.

A Treasury spokeswoman said: "If the deficit is not tackled now, the impact on families will be worse."

She added: "There is nothing fair about running huge budget deficits and burdening future generations with debts we cannot afford to pay.

"This has meant tough decisions, but the government has made them in the fairest way, taking real action to benefit families in all aspects of their lives."

But a report for the FPI by the Institute of Fiscal Studies has suggested that families with children have borne a disproportionate share of the pain from measures aimed at cutting the deficit.

The report, published earlier this year, calculated that the average income of households with children would drop by 4.2% between 2010-11 and 2015-16, the equivalent of £1,250 a year.

'Deeply anxious'

By contrast, average household income would fall by 0.9% or less than £214 a year.

Dr Katherine Rake, FPI chief executive, said: "Families are deeply anxious over the government's austerity programme.

"They are being hit by a raft of painful measures including changes to tax credits, the scrapping of the Child Trust Fund, the end of universal Child Benefit and the proposed Housing Benefit cap.

"The chancellor has taken so much away from family pockets. The Budget 2012 must be the one which strengthens family life."

Dr Rake said statistics released at the end of last year showed that divorces increased in England and Wales for the first time in eight years.

Figures released in December by the Office for National Statistics showed the divorce rate rose by almost 5% in 2010.

The Treasury spokeswoman said steps to boost family budgets included doubling free childcare places for two-year-olds and increasing Child Tax Credit.

She said cuts in fuel duty, the freezing of council tax and increases in the level of personal tax allowance would help families, while the new Universal Credit would make three million households better off and help 80,000 with childcare costs.


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Budget 2012

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  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    Child benefit must be sorted out. It is unfair that low income earners with no kids pay tax to support those with children. I would scrap child benefit completely but phase it in to avoid hardship. If you stopped benefit for any child born after the start of the next tax year (say 1/4/2013) that wouldnt hurt existing families. It would make parents think about the cost of having children though

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    73. Angry Man Rants
    >>>if you have more than 2 do not expect any support.

    Yes, benefits should tail off sharply after 2 kids.

    >>>Time everyone made provisions for their old age
    Well, a key learning for me is that state pension & healthcare is funded from current receipts NOT past payments. Private plans depend on a healthy economy to grow investments. Both need a sizeable, active workforce.

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    It's past time for the Lib-Dems to pull out of this demolition government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    In commerce, entrepreneurs and small businesses should be supported more than any other type of business. Working credit should be 'freed up' and meaningful tax breaks and deferral plans.

    In the personal sector, the elderly and young children should be supported. Realistic Tax Allowances for home care and families with young children should be given tax breaks.

    Oh and fuel duty should be cut...

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    I entirely agree with David (no. 40) - why does the government need to spend billions on the vanity project that is HS2 when they are cutting services across the country used by all people? All just so some businessmen can get to Birmingham a bit faster (and their friends in the construction industry get some nice big contracts).

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.


    5 Minutes ago

    @74.frankiecrisp - I live in the south, North Essex to be precise, I'm not rich, and am unlikely to be unless I win the lotto (I don't know the people who know people who...).

    So, would you care to rephrase your statement?

    We're not all rich down south y'know

    But the ones that are not rich don't count to the Lib-tories like the rest of us

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    Get off your high horse childless generation. We are putting in the hard work to raise the next generation while you indulge yourselves in the modern orgy of self centred me-me-me cult. Who will take you to the loo when you're old and worn out? Kids born today. Hard work and self sacrifice goes into raising kids well, it's 24/7 so put it into perspective please, it seriously reduces earning power.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    We're already friendly enough to families. Benefits and allowances and the lowest mortgage rates ever.

    Time to look after the pensioners who have just lost a chuink of their winter fuel allowance whilst struggling on 0.5% interest on their savings and the lowest annuity rates for 30 years.

    And we all have votes!

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    All that Osborne and most of his former tory chancellors have done is to drive an even bigger wedge between the have and have nots, and he has shown little comassion and is one of the most thoughtless and cruelist to the poorer families, but this is typical of the Cameron millionaire cabinet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    No. 81 Sue Doughcoup "Scrap childcare allowances and be more forceful in getting absent fathers to pay costs."

    Hmmm.... It's a little hard to do that in my case. My husband is dead....

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    More money to be taken from the North to pump up the South.

    Only in tory land.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    I think that households should be taxed and given benefits as a household. We live as a family why are we not treated as a family by the taxation system? So my wife and I should be able to share tax allowances etc. and family allowance should be removed if our combined income is above say £50K, that could be both of us on 25K or just one on £50K etc. That would be a fair system for families.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    If there is any bias in the budget beyond everyone suffering equally, it should favour low to middle income workers in the private, wealth generating sector and the entrereneurs who catalyse business. Right now, these people are our future.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Families as we now know them will soon be a thing of the past, so how does that work for possible 'family friendly' tax cuts?

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    We need to ask ourselves why as a nation we encourage through the benefit system the least able in our society to have more children than they can look after resulting in a disrupted society & unnecessary tax burden.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    53 Ppuj You need to wake up to reality and stop the stereotyping,

    I paid NI and am no claiming on that insurance policy

    I never asked an overstretched NHS not to treat my wife in a timely fashion, causing me to leave a very well paid job with good pension to look after 2 pre school children

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    @74.frankiecrisp - I live in the south, North Essex to be precise, I'm not rich, and am unlikely to be unless I win the lotto (I don't know the people who know people who...).

    So, would you care to rephrase your statement?

    We're not all rich down south y'know.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Whenever I see reference to families with children I tend to gloss over it. Why have kids if you can't afford them? Or are families with children expecting others to pay for their lifestyle choice. The budget should concentrate on fairness. Child benefit only for the second child. Scrap childcare allowances and be more forceful in getting absent fathers to pay costs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    53. Ppuj
    "Too many crutches creates cripples."
    Sounds like you had too many emotional crutches.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    This wont happen. This government are committed to help big business, bankers and the rich 7% Familys are been made homelees in the U.K. the sick old and young people schools and all services' are all due for more savage cuts and increase in all household bills.


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