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Dawn Primarolo, Labour’s MP for Bristol South has today written to George Osborne calling on him to halt changes to tax credits which could see over 300 working families in Bristol South lose nearly £4,000 a year. 

Working Tax Credit, introduced by the previous Labour Government, helps working people on modest incomes to make ends meet.  It is currently paid to people who work at least 16 hours a week, but for couples, this will be increased to at least 24 hours a week.  People who are unable to increase their hours will lose their whole entitlement to Working Tax Credit.  Research by the shop-workers union Usdaw suggests that 78 per cent of workers will not be able to increase their hours by the amount needed.

Commenting, Dawn said: 


“Working Tax Credit was designed to make sure that work always pays, but this short-sighted decision by the Government will penalise couples who have done the right thing.  Given the state of the economy and the pressure on businesses, it seems unlikely that many firms will be able to offer an increase in hours to the hundreds of people in Bristol South who will be affected.”


“People will find it extraordinary that the Government is targeting part-time workers with children.  In the worst case scenario, people will be better giving up work – a couple working 16 hours a week on minimum wage would actually be £736 a year better off if they gave up work.  That cannot be right.  I have today written to the Chancellor to ask him to think again.”


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