Parents to be affected by government grant cuts

Posted on February 19th, 2011 | Categories - News

Grants for families have already been cut and new reforms set for this year will hit them harder.

Families will lose out on a series of payments, which they used to receive under the previous Labour government.

Parents will be greatly affected by the government cuts planned for the next two years, according to the UK’s largest parenting charity.

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) is concerned that families will be disadvantaged by the series of benefit cuts outlined by the Con-Libs, leaving them much worse off financially.

The NCT found that an average couple with two children and one on the way, and an income of £24,000 could already be losing £1000 before the new austerity measures are put in place.

Families have already been affected by the loss of the Health in Pregnancy Grant, which was abolished in January – pregnant women were able to receive a one-off tax-free payment of £190 on top of their other benefits and tax credit allowance under the scheme. The Child Trust Fund was also abolished earlier this year resulting in a £250 loss.

The charity highlighted that the Sure Start Maternity Grant will be restricted to only the first born child from April, which equates to a further £500 loss. In addition to that child benefits will be frozen from April 2013, VAT has risen by 2.5% and National Insurance is set to rise to a basic rate of 12% this April.

The government has also come under fire for its new Welfare Reform Bill, which could mean that thousands of stay-at-home mothers may be forced back into work when their child reaches the age of five.

The Prime Minister said: “Never again will work be the wrong financial choice. We’re finally going to make work pay – especially for the poorest people in society”.

A government source said: “We accept that looking after your children is the most important job any parent does. Those affected will be steered towards part-time work. We are not saying don’t look after your children”.