BILLIONS will be lost to local economies every year if the Tories cut tax credits, the GMB warned yesterday.
At the start of its annual conference in Dublin, the general union said that cutting in-work tax credits would cost the average family £40 a week, leading to a huge loss in spending power.
The GMB says such a move would make up about half of the government’s £12 billion welfare “savings.”
A report published at the conference revealed that 3.2 million families across Britain received in-work benefits at an average of £123 a week or £6,440 a year. The research pointed out that a cut of £40 a week in child tax credit and working tax credit would hit England’s north-west worst, with £869 million a year lost to the region. This is followed by London (£850mn), the south-east (£725m) and West Midlands (£663m).
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: “The elephant in the Downing Street Cabinet room is still cuts to in-work tax credits.
“The projected cut of £40 per week on average would devastate the household incomes for 3.3 million families that go out to work.
“Worried families should not have to wait until the Budget of July 8 for the government to rule out cuts in tax credits.” He added that £40 may be the cost of a large brandy for PM David Cameron “but it is bread and butter for many working families.”
Addressing conference, GMB president Mary Turner told the government to “think again if you think you’ve got this union on the run,” noting that “before the ink was even dry on the ballot papers, Mr Cameron started the attacks on trade unions.” She stated that the “fat cats prop up their friends from Eton” and ridiculed the hypocrisy of Tory plans to introduce ballot thresholds “that so few of them met themselves.”
To applause, Ms Turner announced that for the first time in the union’s history, 50 per cent of its members are women. Conference heard that it was at the 1891 congress that GMB co-founder Eleanor Marx committed the union to campaigning for equal pay for women.