The Government has today announced an emergency budget.
• child benefit will be frozen for three years
• a cut in child tax credit for those on combined income of over £40,000
• health in pregnancy grant (£190) abolished
• Sure Start grant restricted to only the first-born child
• Lone parents to look for work when youngest child goes to school.
In light of today’s budget report, Chief Executive, NCT, Belinda Phipps said:
“NCT is very concerned that parents trying to raise a family will bear the brunt of the cuts announced today.
“At a time when families are trying to make ends meet, the Coalition Government has hit parents particularly hard. Cutting pregnancy and maternity grants, as well as child benefit and tax credits, will make it even more difficult for new parents or those wanting to start a family.
“We’re worried that parents, and parents-to-be, have been singled out unfairly, and that the Government should stick to its commitment to making the UK more family friendly.
“A rise in VAT will also hit parents twice, particularly those on lower incomes. At a time of expensive mortgages and household bills, parents with young children should receive all the support they can get. Supporting children well in the first few years is also crucial to their long-term development.
“However, we welcome the announcement to raise income tax thresholds for those on lowest incomes. NCT believes by supporting mothers and fathers to become the best parent they can be, we are also supporting the best start in life for children.
“NCT is now calling on MPs to speak out against the cuts that hit benefits to pregnant women and their partners, and parents of young children.”