6,500 children in Dartford could be pushed into poverty as a result of the Conservatives tax credit cuts. That's the verdict of the Children's Society who have warned of the impact should the government carry out the their threat to cut tax credits. Their warning was reported by the Dartford Messenger this week: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/gravesend/news/dire-poverty-warning-by-the-46850/
Labour has been pressing the government to think again on their plans – which will see families will lose on average £1,300 next year. We are opposed to the changes – they are unfair and will reduce the household income for thousands of working families in Dartford.
The Children’s Society report gives a stark warning on the impact of these changes on levels of child poverty, which is already at unacceptably high levels in our borough. 20% of children in Dartford are already living in poverty – that’s 1 in 5. In many areas of our Borough such as Littlebrook, Joyce Green and Princes, the figure rises to over 30%. 1
Labour’s leader in Dartford Cllr Jonathon Hawkes voiced his party’s concerns:
“The Children’s Society have given a stark warning on the impact of the Tories cuts to tax credits on working families in Dartford. Child poverty in our Borough has been too high for too long – these unfair changes to tax credits carry a real risk of making the situation worse. At a time when we need to focus on reducing levels of child poverty in Dartford, this is not the right way to reduce the benefits bill and we urge the Government to think again.
Labour have been urging Dartford Borough Council to move forward on the local Child Poverty Strategy that was committed to earlier this year. The Council made a start on this but now I’m concerned progress has stalled. Now is the time to focus on delivering our strategy for combatting child poverty in Dartford and it’s vital that the considering the impact of government policies on our Borough is part of that work.”
- Figures taken from http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/poverty-in-your-area/#map