The Conservative government have announced a range of cuts to working age benefits that will affect local residents.
Recent analysis has estimated that in Tonbridge and Malling:
The four year freeze on working age benefits means 5,400 Tonbridge and Malling residents and their families will lose an average of £260 per year.
This includes 3,500 working people whose families will have to make up an average £280 shortfall per year in tax credits.
540 residents in the ESA work related activity group, considered only temporarily too ill to work, will lose a further £30 per week as their allowance is brought down to the level of JSA.
Other measures include:
the household benefit cap will be reduced to £20,000 (£23,000 in London)
support through Child Tax Credit will be limited to 2 children for children born from April 2017
automatic entitlement to housing benefit will be ended for 18-21 year olds
limiting child tax credits to 2 children
reducing the amount of tax credits anyone with an income of more than £3,300 can receive
Anita Oakley, Leader of the Tonbridge and Malling Lib Dem Group said:
“These measures will mean big reductions for the poorest Tonbridge and Malling residents, particularly those who are too ill to work and those in work but unable to make ends meet.
It will be the local council that will have to pick up the pieces when people have nowhere left to turn
As our party realised in the last government, it is not possible to address the deficit without looking at the welfare bill. However the Lib Dems ensured that any changes were as fair as possible, blocking many of the harshest suggestions put forward by the Tories.
We’re now seeing the Tories jump at the chance to implement all those measures that the Lib Dems stopped them from doing, forcing those already struggling to make ends meet to shoulder a £12bn saving.”
ESA: Employment and Support Allowance
JSA; Job Seekers Allowance