Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Labour chair welcomes U-turn on tax credit cuts

Alan Butcher, pictured earlier this year at an election hustings
Alan Butcher, pictured earlier this year at an election hustings

A U-turn on cuts to tax credits in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement has been welcomed by Labour members in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.

Last week George Osborne announced that he was scrapping the changes due to the improved position of the public finances, which was allowing him to cut less in the early years of this Parliament.

The changes to tax credits could have seen an estimated 4,500 families affected in the Bognor and Littlehampton constituency, with some households losing out by £1,300 a year.

Alan Butcher, chairperson of the Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Constituency Labour Party described the move as ‘the equivalent of a triple piked somersault with a twist’, but warned that the cuts could still take place when Universal Credit is introduced.

He explained: “So it seems that the Universal Credit - all welfare payments rolled into one – will contain the £1,300 cut when implemented in 2020.

“Commentators such as The Resolution Foundation say that by 2020 more than three million households are still set to lose an average of £1,000 from the £3.5bn cut. Pain tomorrow is better than pain today – but it is still pain.”

He also raised concerns about the cuts to grants for student nurses, the scaling back of a pledge on the extension of free childcare, and a cap on housing benefit for new tenants in the social rented sector.

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