‘Unfair spending cuts’ adding to debt misery for the poor?

The poorest families in the UK are more likely to require debt management help because of a series of spending cuts imposed during the first 100 days …

The poorest families in the UK are more likely to require debt management help because of a series of spending cuts imposed during the first 100 days of the coalition government, it has been suggested.

Research carried out by the Trades Union Congress has identified 100 such actions that it deems unfair and particularly harmful for less well-off households.

The organisation stated these policies are being made across the board, including health, housing, education, social care and welfare.

An example of the cuts deemed unjustified is the cancellation of free school meals – which would have extended the option to 500,000 families on low income from September this year.

The study also found nearly a million (936,960) households will be deprived of around £624 a year as a direct result of alterations to the housing benefit, with residents in London the worst hit.

Moreover, £450 million has been scrapped from the Young Person’s Guarantee pledge, which aims to provide unemployed people with work, training or a job within six months of being out of work.

The Working Neighbourhood Fund, which endeavours to help jobless individuals in deprived areas move into the jobs market, has also been stripped of £49.9 million.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, commented: “These cuts are doing the opposite of what the government intends. Far from securing the economic recovery, they are slamming on the economic brakes.”

The recent Economic and Labour Review from the Office for National Statistics highlighted the number of workless households in Britain has spiralled in the last few years.

By Joe Shervin

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