Eastbourne activists condemn tax credit cuts

Eastbourne People's Assembly SUS-151028-092648001
Eastbourne People's Assembly SUS-151028-092648001

A group of activists from Eastbourne has condemned the tax credits cuts, which they say could hit several thousand families in the town.

Social activist group, Eastbourne People’s Assembly, say the cuts will lead to increased poverty and will impact the local economy as a result.

More than 6,800 families in Eastbourne currently receive tax credits with many set to lose an average of £1,300 a year if the government succeeds in increasing the income threshold.

A spokesman for the group said, “Families on low incomes generally save very little and have to spend most of their money locally as they can’t afford to travel out of area much.

“This is where the gross inequality created by government policies leads to gross unfairness for everybody, local businesses included.

“Increasing poverty in Eastbourne is not a route to local prosperity, but the exact opposite.”

On Monday (October 26) the government’s changes to the tax credit threshold were rejected by the House of Lords as peers voted to delay the £4.4 billion cuts.

Figures from the House of Commons Library suggest as many as 12,600 children in Eastbourne are part of families receiving tax credits.

The figures also show single parents make up 56 per cent of those receiving both working tax credits and child tax credits nationally.

Della Bentham, a single parent from Eastbourne, said she would be £1,200 a year worse-off if the cuts came into force.

She said, “I could easily claim benefits and not work since my son is below school age, but I choose not to as I want to set a good example for them.

“I cannot hold down a normal job because both my children have a genetic condition and have constant hospital appointments, therefore the only way around it was to work for myself.

“I don’t want to be reliant on tax credits but while I grow my business and wait for my son to start school I simply have to.

“Tax credits top up my low earnings. I am not lazy, I work more hours a day than most people who are conventionally employed while I try to grow a business which I hope one day will support me without the need for government top ups.”

On Saturday the group will hold a protest calling for the introduction of the living wage at Banker’s Corner in Eastbourne.

For more information about the Eastbourne People’s Assembly campaigns email eastbourne.peoplesassembly@yahoo.co.uk or visit the group’s Facebook page here.

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