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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  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    We need to put a cap on individual wealth and redistribute it. Much of the wealth of individuals has very little to do with hard work and more to do with being paid more than your contribution to society, or exploitation of others. It is a throwback to the days when people considered themselves to be somehow superior. Nothing to do with people and all about money. Things have to change.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    131. david

    There is a flaw in your arguement - a very expensive one. Cut child benefit from these families and you will see more children being taken into care of the state.

    £20 a week child benefit per child vs £3000 a week for a care placement.

    Both are paid by the tax payer - I know what I'd prefer to pay for.

    Please be careful for what you wish for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    George Osborne is committed to one thing - keeping Britains AAA rating with "Standard and Pisspoors" rating agency.

    He will toss families in the bin in the same way he has cancer patients and disabled people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    What was the point in adding the divorce rate to this article. There is no proof at all that the economy is to blame for the increase. There's a huge plethora of factors that could cause this increase that haven't even been mentioned. The worst thing is that most people will either agree or disagree, without accounting for the vast grey area, because it's too complicated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    George Osborne should stick two fingers up to the poor, reduce the rich peoples tax burden, destroy the NHS and crush both public and private sector pensions.

    Alex Salmonds Independence vote is going to be a cakewalk

    We promise to invite Maggie, Malky, Cameron, Osbourne and all the Tories who made independence possible as guests of honour at our independence ceremony

    You go gett'em George !

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    134 Martin. I have thought about it and assuming that your kids will be working and earning, a lot of what they pay in taxes etc will be used to look after you when you stop working, as will my kids on me. Also I doubt very much that what they will pay will equate to what they take out of the system. We have been taking from a system funded by massive borrowing - hence the mess we are in now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    @145 If you must know I donate regularly every month to several charities including Barnados, Help the Aged and Save the Children. Does that satisfy you? I still continue do this even though I no longer receive CB. I know many friends who receive CB who have children that own Playstations, 3G phones (£30-£40 per month) have TVs in their bedroom, go on expensive hols and so on. Is this need?

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    @142: ..."which single people and pensioners had to fund and still continue to do so"

    Pensioners were once couples with children and benefited greatly from social programmes including housing entitlements. What's hurting pensioners more is 1) No economic growth, resulting in depressed share prices and no interest on savings 2) quantitative easing which devalues our currency & hits pension funds

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    131 agree. Its the "do gooders" who want the lazy with huge families to get more money saying they are "deprived" thats rubbish, just irresponsible. This was helped by Labours attitude in keep taxing people who work to pay for them. They get 326 thou rent all plus all other alowances which must add up to more than the people working & will get CB cut at £42 thou. Yet those at £65 dont, its wrong

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    Not enough money is given to families.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    Make work pay and continue the great progress in sorting out the benefits system.
    ...it is right and fair to attack benefit cheats and scroungers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    As a totally disaffected Lib/Dem voter I have no truck with this lousy government who are a mixed bunch of plutocrats with very little idea of what ordinary folk and pensioners' lives are like in the current economic climate while they unashamedly cozy up to the bankers and wealthy elite.

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    Its all about "divide and rule" simples.

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    @mathsman, So, did you keep the CB you didn't need or not?

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    I agree Neil. We all pay for things we dont use and use things we dont pay for. That's society and it's good. The ultimate realisation of these family hater's views would be very expensive pay if you use private schools and hospitals, no infrastructure, streets knee deep in beggars and soaring crime. Things needed reforming but not crushing. Be careful what you wish for....

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    cut taxes, cut spending and end the welfare state. You can't get ay more family friendly than that!

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    Those couples with children may be seeing a disproportionate cut, but it would be interesting to measure this against the disproportionate gain which they were given by the former government, which single people and pensioners had to fund and still continue to do so

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    If you are lucky enough to have a job this week you will be required to spend 60 hours a week helping the poor or sick in your community If you don't I will starve you and lock you in the stocks.Tell me will you do this before or after the riots

    Riots cannot begin until the water cannon are built somewhere abroard at the cost of more british jobs I wonder how long this failed government will last

  • rate this

    Comment number 140.

    @132. I'm not comfortably well off. I have been made redundant twice, my wife doesn't work full time and I have two children. I received no state benefits (my wife received CB) and lived off my savings which I put away when I was working rather than have expensive TVs/mobiles/holidays etc. People do not understand what NEED means!

  • rate this

    Comment number 139.

    Perhaps the way around this is to completely review how the benefits system works. Most of it comes from National Insurance. Insurance in any other area is not an automatic pay-out. It is there when things go wrong. So should NI be. Families should not automatically be favoured. An example where they should be is if they are on an average income and have a multiple birth.


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