Welfare cuts 'hurt those in work'

Most of the welfare cuts announced by the Government are affecting people in work, including those on low pay, according to a new report.

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Frances O'Grady said welfare cuts are hurting low-paid working families more than anyone else

Most of the welfare cuts announced by the Government are affecting people in work, including those on low pay, according to a new report.

A study by the TUC of 43 social security changes since 2010 found that 34 were likely to hit workers, including cuts to child tax credits, housing benefit and benefits for disabled workers.

Tenants have been hit by the so-called bedroom tax, families with children have suffered from a freeze in child benefit, and low-income savers lost out by the scrapping of the Saving Gateway, said the report.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "For all the Government's rhetoric about targeting scroungers, the truth is that welfare cuts are hurting low-paid working families more than anyone else.

"Far from making work pay, cruel cuts in social security are making work pay less for Britain's low-income families.

"The Government thinks that its tough rhetoric on welfare is a vote-winner, but, as more people learn that the changes are hurting hard-working people, that support will fall away.

"What Britain really needs is a social security system which provides a proper safety net for those who have fallen ill, been injured or lost a job through no fault of their own.

"We also need welfare reforms that support people back into a proper job, rather than punishing them if they can only find low-paid work or need to pay for childcare."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: "Our reforms are fixing the broken welfare system and restoring fairness to benefits as part of the Government's long-term economic plan.

"We're ensuring people are better off in work than on benefits and have already seen the number of people in work reach record levels, while Government action to help hard-working people has frozen council tax for five years and seen the typical taxpayer save over £700 by increasing the amount they can earn before paying income tax."