Fam­i­lies pre­pare to tighten belts in tax shake-up

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update -

FAM­I­LIES in Peter­bor­ough are pre­par­ing to tighten their belts as they be­gin to di­gest the im­pli­ca­tions of yes­ter­day’s bud­get.

In a wel­fare shake up which will save the coun­try £11 bil­lion by 2014/15, fam­i­lies and pen­sion­ers in Peter­bor­ough face re­duc­tions in tax cred­its for fam­i­lies earn­ing more than £40,000, cuts in preg­nancy grants, a three-year freeze on child ben­e­fits and re­form of hous­ing ben­e­fit.

How­ever, per­sonal in­come tax al­lowance will be in­creased to peo­ple earn­ing less than £7,475, the ba­sic state pen­sion will be linked once more to earn­ings from April next year – with the pen­sion guar­an­teed to rise in line with earn­ings, prices or 2.5 per cent, which­ever is the greater.

Deb­bie Stop­ford (47), of Herne Road, Ram­sey St Mary, be­lieves the emer­gency bud­get was fair and will af­fect peo­ple across the board.

How­ever, it means the sin­gle mum-of-six, who is re­cov­er­ing from womb can­cer and is un­able to work, will have to cut back on lux­ury items.

She said: “This bud­get has hit ev­ery­body. But I don’t think it is too dif­fer­ent from any other bud­get and just means that once again we will have to cut back.

“The VAT in­crease is go­ing to hit us as a fam­ily hard­est be­cause it af­fects ev­ery­thing.

“Chil­dren want the lat­est hi-tech equip­ment and gim­micks but they won’t be able to, there will have to be com­pro­mises. I think we will man­age.”

How­ever, she said it would be dif­fi­cult for many fam­i­lies, adding: “I am not on the bread line but there are a lot of fam­i­lies out there who are, so it is go­ing to be an up­hill strug­gle for a lot of peo­ple.”

Pen­sioner John Kem­mery (66) of Wal­ton Park, Wal­ton, Peter­bor­ough said the VAT hike will af­fect him and his wife Sheila and be­lieves their pen­sion in­crease will be eaten by the VAT rise.

He said: “In all the gov­ern­ments I have known, I have never known one to give any­thing to pen­sion­ers and this coali­tion govern­ment is no dif­fer­ent.

“Pen­sion­ers are go­ing to be a lit­tle bet­ter off but there is a large hike in VAT.

“They are giv­ing it to us in one hand and tak­ing it off of us in the other. The VAT in­crease is cer­tain to swal­low up any ex­tra money we thought we might have.”

There will be no new in­creases in du­ties on al­co­hol, to­bacco or fuel and Labour’s plan to in­crease the duty on cider by 10 per cent above in­fla­tion will be scrapped.

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