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Westcountry families to lose £1,300 a year in child benefit cuts

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 08, 2013

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Almost 16,500 families in the Westcountry will lose an average of £1,300 a year under the Government's controversial child benefit overhaul, the Western Morning News can reveal.

From yesterday, households with one earner on more than £50,000 started to lose some or all of the payment as part of a £2 billion Government welfare crackdown.

According to Treasury figures placed in the House of Commons library, 16,440 families in the Westcountry have been sent letters from HM Revenue and Customs telling them they will lose out.

Child benefit is being withdrawn on a sliding scale from families where one earner makes more than £50,000 a year.

Households with one earner on £60,000 or more will lose all their benefit – or £1,752 for two children. However, a family with two earners each on £49,000 a year will keep all the money.

Liam Byrne, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, told the WMN: "This is another example of parents and working families paying for the Government's failure to get Britain back to work. It is a big con to pretend it's the feckless and the slackers that are being asked to foot the bill."

The Central Devon constituency boasted the largest number of households in Devon affected by the change, with 1,040 families out of pocket. A total of 8,070 households in Devon will be impacted.

In Cornwall, 3,070 families have been hit, and some 880 households in Truro and Falmouth will be affected – the most of all constituencies in the Duchy.

This weekend, Prime Minister David Cameron defended the cuts as "fundamentally fair".

Labour, meanwhile, has launched a new compulsory job scheme for anyone who has been looking for work for more than two years in their bid to appear tough on welfare.

The Opposition claims the scheme would put more than 1,920 people across the Westcountry back into work. Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, said: "The Government needs to take seriously the issue of rising long-term unemployment that has rocketed over the last few years and has caused the Government to borrow more than they planned to pay for benefits."

Today, the Commons will vote on Government plans to cap the annual rises in most working-age benefits at 1% – a real-terms cut – to slash £3.7 billion. Labour is set to oppose the move.

Mr Byrne claimed almost 173,000 people in the Westcountry in work will be hit by the change, arguing it is "strivers" that will be hurt.

He said ministers suggesting the move is an attack on "the slackers" was a "big lie".

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  • nickthompson  |  January 09 2013, 7:57AM

    As the greedy party sees the way to cut the deficit is to give tax cuts to the super rich,and clobber the most vunerable,the middle class,the working poor, the unemployed,disa­bled etc,here is an idea they might adopt, in fact I wonder IDS hasen't thought of it himself.-------­----A few days ago Fox Hunting was again on the ageda,with very little chance of it ever being re-instated,wel­l, here's my idea,replace the Foxe's with pensioner's,I suggest just ten a meet to start with,when caught by hounds the could be buried on the spot.with 290 packs out 3 days a week,the government could rid themselves of some 8'700 per week'348'000 per 4 week month. Everybody's happy,the guys in the red coats get to keep on killing,the government save millions of pounds a year in pension payments, and the Fox lives happy ever after.

  • vockered  |  January 09 2013, 1:07AM

    Why would anybody earning over £60,000 a year think they need benefits anyway?

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  • nickthompson  |  January 08 2013, 6:43PM

    Boris Johnson has appointed his disgraced former deputy mayor as his senior mentoring advisor. Ray Lewis, who stood down from his previous role in 2008, will be paid £20,000 a year to work ONE DAY A WEEK.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Just how much longer are we going to put up with this,before we take to the streets?

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  • eu_blues  |  January 08 2013, 3:42PM

    Almost 16,500 families in the Westcountry will lose an average of £1,300 a year under the Government's controversial child benefit overhaul, the Western Morning News can reveal. From yesterday, households with one earner on more than £50,000 started to lose some or all of the payment as part of a £2 billion Government welfare crackdown. This is Cornwall Just another sign that the benefits system is being systemactically destroyed. David Cameron recently stated that he's stopped claiming Child Benefit. Well, of course he would. He's a multi-millionaire after all. Penalising people like this is unacceptable. Those that DON'T represent us in Westminster are all wealthy enough not to depend on benefits. And in most cases are rich because of us. The system dosen't serve the intrest of us.

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  • Sconewars  |  January 08 2013, 3:42PM

    I agree devonguy7. You shouldn't lose it. However, anyone earning above £60,000 per annum should pay a higher rate of income tax. This would be much fairer and easier to collect and administer.

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  • JJLee  |  January 08 2013, 2:39PM

    Of course it is unfair but when was being fair an objective of Tory policy?

  • H_Trevorrow  |  January 08 2013, 2:38PM

    Why such a high threshold. 35K would have been my cut off point. The western culture are just at the beginning of the culture shock that emerging nations will inevitably vist on us. Any gov that tries taxing wealth and keeping universal benefits will drive the country into a slow growth, dependency addicted, anti entrepreneurial dead end. The writing is on the wall except for die hard lefties all benefit will need to be means tested eventually...it was always sold as being a safety net....not a means for high earners to keep thier wine cellar stocked.

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  • crgee  |  January 08 2013, 2:13PM

    Clearly plenty of ''high earners'' in the west country ...... so not all 'druggies on benefit' then...

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  • mikelister66  |  January 08 2013, 12:30PM

    josdave, I think you'll find it's quite clearly the rich that subsidise the poor, not conversely. Time that people realised how much the so called '1%' actually contribute. The top 1% of eaners contribute as much income tax as the bottom 75%. (Around £40 billion for each group with the remaining 24% contributing £80billion).

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  • nicold  |  January 08 2013, 12:15PM

    These high earners need to get a life...no one should be under any obligation to pay for you having children, especially receiving an amount most people would dream of earning!

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