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 178.

    153 Sue My children will work because even if they get top level qualifications they will clean toilets rather than claim benefits.

    Think of the wasted money, aid to rich countries, Needless highly paid public sector jobs ( not hard working front line ), billions spent on unwinable wars etc.

    3 kids paying 10K each for 50 years far out weighs any benefit recieved.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    Countries need children - fact. Europe doesn't have enough and Japan is the same way. It chokes countries and mass immigraton is the result. However, future generations must come from economically functional families. Many irresponsible individuals have multiple kids while having no work ethic which transfers to their multiple kids in a cyclical manner. Cap it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.


    I must confess I have no children, and that that I recently abandoned the UK to become expat thus benefiting from a much higher income and zero taxation which as a uk singleton I was being disproportional targeted. That said I have to provision for my old age myself, even though I choose to keep paying into the UK NI. However I agree with your comment about the system deficit

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.


    9 Minutes ago

    It seems to me at the moment that everyone thinks the world owes them a living. Being rich does not happen by accident

    Google George Monbiots The Self-Attribution Fallacy. that puts to bed the BS about the rich getting their wealth by brains and hard work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    It is pure greed that people who have not had the gumption to educate themselves and look at the workplace and work out the best way to earn the most amount of money, expect me to pay them some of mine. It is lazy and selfish behaviour. I will help the needy but not the lazy. I arrange my taxes to pay what I think is right. Yes I am a company owner.

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    Before I became a SAHM, I worked FT at the Benefits Agency for 14 years. No matter how you look at it, there's always been 'hard core' of benefits for life people and since 1997 that hard core got larger every year cos Blair + Brown encouraged it. I know cos I was there and I left in the end because I couldn't stand any more. Sense of entitlement just ballooned - it broke my heart.

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    What is family friendly - anything that creates jobs. But this budget must be friendly to those families where the parents work & contribute to society. It must be distinctly unfriendly to the unemployed, unions and left wing rabble rousers hell bent on destroying the UK's economy.

    Osbourne is 1st class though. He knows what to do!

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    What is all this obsession with 'families'. Do people who happen not to be part of a 'family'.just not matter?

    What about a budget for everyone ? What about a fair budget ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    As someone with no children,ergo no grand children either, I do not mind contributing taxes to a better society for all - single people/childless couples should stop feeling sorry for themselves for no good reason, & recognise how well off they are compared to the typical hard working family......

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    @165.pheladog92 - so the businessman who employs a hundred people, 99 of those bringing in business for the company got rich by working hard all alone did he?

    I'd like to live in your dream world where the rich get rich by hard work all by themselves, but sadly I live in a world where the people actually doing the work get paid peanuts whilst the actual wealth is creamed off by those at the top.

  • rate this

    Comment number 168.

    What's all this about families on massive benefits? We can debate whether CB should be universal or not. But the fact remains that CB will go very suddendly, overnight

    My wife and I both work full time, I earn JUST over the £40k limit & I'm about to lose CB. That's about a £4,000 gross pay cut.

    Compare that with a couple who do not have kids earning the same. Oh - there's no comparison.

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.


    Agree to some extent. However those couples with children had to limit family sizes because of financial constrictions. Few of my friends have more than one sibling. Social housing lists were years long even then, and that was before the 1980's sell-off. Life was less rosy in the 1960s and 1970s than it is now. Shares & savings? There wasn't any spare money to save

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.

    Why should those that are so fortunate as to be part of a family, with all the family support they receive, be subsidised by those who are not as fortunate. Why should the childless, barren, or those who may have suffered the traumatic loss of a child, or a whole family in an accident, be further punished by the state and forced to subsidise others.

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    It seems to me at the moment that everyone thinks the world owes them a living. Being rich does not happen by accident. people are rich because thry work hard and are determined. failure is not an option. just because someone is richer than you doesnt mean tbey owe you anything. you are the only reason you are not rich. cut the 50p rate which will increase investment

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    What exactly do you people want? Bringing up children is hard- it's hardship! People are too focused on blaming everyone else for their financial problems. I'm a stay at home mother and stopped having kids when we couldn't afford any more. Financially, it's tough but I saw the financial crisis coming over 7 years ago and battened down the hatches then. Why didn't you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    @154: Absolutely right. The Scots have a once in a lifetime opportunity to take control of their lives and the fact that this govt isn't even trying to disguise its contempt for the working/middle class is making Scottish independence a fait accompli. The Health Bill (allowing up to 49% of NHS resources to be used treating paying patients) is the nail in the coffin for a united Britain.

  • Comment number 162.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    Fact , over 2.5 million unemployed in UK , public sector workers are better off than private sector equivalents , the country is in borderline recession , its easier to criticise than offer constructive comment and opinion . The government has no easy choices but just tough decisions , they need to choose the right ones and be tough . A budget for growth is required and PS spending control

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    BBC in giving undue prominance to handwringing charity while ignoring Unions' disgusting ransom demands on London shocker. Bored of "families" now, proper families are planned and budgeted for. Moaning about benefit seems to be for the benefit of mothers with 6 kids by 4 fathers, upset their dole payments are being capped at £35k. Must be a nightmare only living in a free four bed house.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    Children are a priority. Families should be given money over everybody else. Families are the backbone of society. Childless people are the equivalent of immigrants who send their money home instead of putting it into the country, so they should be made to pay. Go George, I know you can do it.


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